Featured – Sharks, Sea Lions, & Sustainability
Port Lincoln, Australia – Nested in the Southern region of Australia sits the quaint village of Port Lincoln, the seafood capital of Oz. It is known for its marine biodiversity and exquisite local fare. As a travel agency, we get all kinds of requests from our clients to go on tours that are anything but ordinary. We recently stumbled across a charter tour that is worth mentioning as our featured ecotour this week. We came for the sharks; we stayed for the marine conservation.
Calypso Star Charters – Imagine being face to face with the most-feared, cold-blooded killer in the ocean. See a Great White Shark up close and personal in an 8-person cage in Neptune Islands Marine Park. Calypso Star Charters has been educating travelers about sharks in their natural habitat for the last 25 years. Their company sparingly uses locally-sourced fish berley (tuna guts and scraps) to attract sharks towards the cage. If you cage-dive with Calypso, you are bound to look a Great White in the mouth. The guides at CSC highlight the importance of ocean conservancy, ethical tour practices, and marine education. They support Great White research and make efforts to protect this beast of the blue. They state, “Our practices are conducted with the utmost respect to the welfare of sharks.”
If sharks aren’t your thing, CSC also offers a snorkel session with some very playful sea lions, commonly known as “puppies of the sea.” This tour has exclusive access to the sea lion’s habitat, where visitors have the opportunity to interact with them only four times a week. CSC says, “We are committed to minimizing the impact to the Sealion colonies we visit.” Sea lions are considered endangered and the permit CSC has acquired has very strict parameters. They do not approach the nearby beach, which is prime sea lion habitat and only visit for about an hour before heading back to HQ. They also say that the more you swim around and behave like a sea lion, the more likely they are to interact with you. Certainly, this is just another reason to visit the Southern region of Australia.
What separates this charter company from other tour operations is their commitment to sustainability and marine conservation. CSC is decorated with 23 different certifications and awards for being an ecologically-sound, carbon-neutral tour operation. They are certified with the Advanced Eco Certification and a Climate Action Leader from Ecotourism Australia. Additionally, they are a Sustainable Tourism Accredited Business. The importance of having certifications such as these shows the general public that they have gone the extra mile to be recognized and are held accountable for their actions within this region. CSC’s mission is to educate their guests, provide an unforgettable experience, and minimize their impact on the environment. There is something to be said for operations like Calypso Star Charters, our first choice for cage-diving with the Greats and swimming with sea lions, an experience our clients will remember forever.
For more information on Calypso Star Charters, visit https://sharkcagediving.com.au/#