Compare operators by studying their websites, visiting them personally in their office, asking questions via email or telephone. Ask them describe the tour to you and consider the following:
A responsible tour operator
ensures least possible impact on dolphins and environment
The operator prioritises animal welfare and emphasizes adherence to responsible interaction guidelines. However, advertising a guaranteed wildlife sighting is problematic, as it cannot assure encounters with wild animals and places undue pressure on the onboard crew.
provides education to customers
Clear communication sets realistic expectations for encounters and dolphin behaviors. An onboard guide conducts a briefing on guidelines and imparts information about the animals' biology, environment, and potential threats.
The operator actively supports research and environmental organisations while striving to minimise environmental impact through measures like reducing plastic waste and recycling, as well as employing efficient boat engines.
Although guidelines exist in many countries, they are often not strictly enforced by authorities. Visit the International Whaling Commission's website (http://iwc.int/whalewatching) for specific country guidelines. Alternatively, consult recommendations from the Dolphin Watch Alliance.
If you observe non-compliance, don't hesitate to speak up as a customer; your voice can make a difference. Report practices on platforms like Holidaycheck, TripAdvisor, or social media with evidence such as photos or videos and inform local environmental and tourism authorities.
You are the customer, you can make a difference to the welfare of the dolphins!