Starting tomorrow is Department of Conservation – Conservation Week 2019! This year proudly celebrates 50 years of Conservation Week here in NZ – an amazing feat! The week runs from the 14th of September through to the 22nd of September 2019 in locations all over New Zealand.
Why do we need a Conservation Week?
New Zealand’s wildlife is still in crisis with more than 4,000 of our native animals (including the Hector’s dolphin) and plants threatened or at risk. Conservation Week is a chance to bring everyone together to do something, big or small to create change.
Every year Conservation Week sees thousands of New Zealanders getting involved through doing conservation activities at home or attending one of many events hosted across the country. Creating change can be big or small, when we pull together, we can make a big difference.
Black Cat and Conservation
Black Cat may be well known as a tourism operator, but did you know that we’re also a leader in environmental management? From reducing energy consumption to donating a portion of every passenger fare to dolphin conservation, Black Cat takes extra measures to ensure the preservation of our environment. We have recently also been nominated for the Conservation Awards at the 2019 NZ Tourism Awards.
New Zealand’s first eco-tourism operator
Established in 1985 as Akaroa Harbour Cruises, we can claim to be New Zealand’s first eco-tourism enterprise. We launched with the intention of showing off Hector’s dolphins as well as the other creatures and scenery of Banks Peninsula. Naturally, such a reliance on the natural environment encouraged Black Cat to foster a keen interest in maintaining the health and beauty of Akaroa Harbour right from the start.
Actions to protect the environment
Black Cat works hard to protect the environment. First, we reduce our energy consumption (we aim for an annual reduction of 1% per person) through actions such as:
- Maintaining our vessels for maximum efficiency
- Encouraging our staff to walk or bike to work
- Monitoring fuel usage
- Using energy saving light bulbs and efficient heating
We also take care to minimise the by-products from the energy we do use. By recycling and using biodegradable cleaning products, Black Cat is able to reduce the amount of waste resulting from our operation.
Education and advocacy
Black Cat takes pride in giving back to the environment and the community through advocacy, education and sponsorship. Each year we donate at least $70,000 to programmes that support causes like marine mammal research and education, Quail Island restoration and penguin predator trapping.
In February 2019, we launched the Protect Hector’s campaign to increase public awareness of the threat to Hector’s dolphins and the vital need for their protection. The campaign focussed on encouraging individuals to get involved in the 2019 Threat Management Plan consultation. We created a landing page within the Black Cat Cruises website where people can fill in their details and a postcard will be sent on their behalf to Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, calling for better protection for Hector’s. Physical postcards were also placed on all Black Cat’s boats in both Lyttelton and Akaroa.
We also have a strong commitment to marine environment education and the plight of the Hector’s dolphin in schools. In 2017, Black Cat developed a new marine based educational resource for schools and the pilot programme launched Nov 2017. The programme included resource books for teachers and corresponding workbook for the students aimed at Year 3 and 4 students.
What is Black Cat Cruises doing for Conservation Week?
To celebrate 50 years of Conservation Week, Black Cat Cruises is letting kids cruise for free from the 14th-22nd of September! (T’s and C’s apply).
Come along with your family and discover the natural wonders of Akaroa Habour aboard our award-winning 2-hour Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.
This fun 2 hour cruise suitable for all ages is packed with stunning highlights including the endemic (only found in NZ) and playful Hector’s dolphin, as well as White-flippered Little Blue penguins, NZ Fur seals and abundant birdlife. You’ll see giant volcanic sea cliffs, view dramatic scenery and hear about Akaroa’s fascinating past. Cruises depart every day, weather permitting.
Conservation Week Special!
? Kids Cruise Free during Conservation Week (14–22 Sept)
? One child free per paying adult
? Direct bookings only via phone, email or online at the Black Cat website using promocode NATURE
? Kids will also receive a free Hector’s dolphin fun activity book to learn all about the endangered Hector’s dolphin!
Please quote promo code: NATURE