Eye to Eye Marine Encounters visits many remote areas in Australia, and creates some of the best nature-based experiences in the world. With this privilege comes an inherent responsibility to look after these special sites and the animals that depend on them. As such, our company supports research and conservation projects and adheres to and enforces Best Environmental Practices to minimise the impacts of our activities.

Best Environmental Practice


  • Check you are weighted correctly before diving

  • Practise your buoyancy control over sand and away from coral

  • Secure all equipment so that it doesn't drag (e.g. gauges, octopus)

  • No not chase or harass wildlife

  • Do not dive with gloves (as this encourages the touching of corals and animals)

  • If you pick up anything underwater (alive or dead) always return it to exactly the same position

  • When taking photos please;
    a) Organise your position before looking through the viewfinder.
    b) Don't rest on the coral.
    c) Don't chase the marine animals; the best results are obtained when they come to you.

  • Do not attempt to ride or grab at free-swimming animals and avoid blocking their path

  • Learn about the underwater environment


  • Follow instructions from the vessel crew at all times.

  • Snorkelling (using a mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit, without a weight-belt) rather than scuba diving is recommended. (Note that weight belts can work loose in rough conditions and have been observed to detach and fall onto a whale.)

  • If whales approach during a scuba dive, the dive should continue as usual, including a safety stop on return to the vessel. Scuba divers approached by a whale should hold on to a safety chain/bar or mooring line when available. Divers must never swim directly at a whale.

  • Enter the water calmly and with minimal noise to reduce potential disturbance to whales.

  • If a whale approaches a person in the water, they must move slowly to avoid startling the whale.

  • Do not touch or make physical contact with a whale.

  • When surface ropes/safety lines are deployed from the vessel, swimmers should hold onto a line at all times.

  • Snorkellers should space themselves 3-4m apart along the line to avoid bumping into each other and unnecessary kicking/splashing.

  • Snorkellers should remain in contact with crew on board the vessel in case the crew needs to recall the swimmers to the boat.

  • Natural light only must be used for photography (i.e. no flashes/strobes or video lights).
    Dwarf minke whales have large eyes that may be adapted for low light levels and they may be startled by camera flashes. The natural light near the surface is sufficient for capturing a high quality image.

  • If whales display signs of disturbance, swimmers must exit the water.

    Minke Whale Current State of Knowledge


  • Keep lighting to a minimum

  • Lights should be no more than a three-volt, two-cell, hand-held torch

  • Do not approach closely or shine lights on turtles leaving the water or moving up the beach

  • Avoid shining lights at the turtle's eyes during egg laying

  • Avoid loud noise and sudden movements

  • Do not light campfires on turtle nesting beaches

  • Keep dogs away

  • Learn about the habits and needs of turtles


  • Don't approach close enough to stress seabirds. This may force them to move from their nests or young, or to take flight.

  • If seabirds exhibit stressful behaviour overhead, such as raucous calling or swooping, leave immediately, taking care to avoid crushing well-camouflaged eggs

  • When approaching birds, be quiet, avoid rapid or sudden movement, crouch and use existing cover

  • NEVER try to touch birds, chicks or eggs

  • Avoid using lights near or in bird colonies.

  • Learn about the habits and needs of seabirds


  • Always act in a way that is respectful to indigenous cultural heritage (smile, be polite, no swearing etc)

  • Acknowledge and support indigenous spiritual connections to the land and water

  • Religious beliefs of Aboriginal Australians include totemic relationships and these should be treated with the utmost respect

  • In some indigenous communities there may be areas that you will be asked to avoid. Access to sites, Dreaming stories, ritual and cultural practices may be restricted by gender.

  • While in a community, never move off on your own or enter a private house uninvited

  • Always wear culturally acceptable clothing (skirts/shorts below the knee, sleeved tops, no midriffs, no cleavage etc.)

  • Do not show images or say the name of recently deceased people

  • Be aware that some items are sacred and should not be touched, climbed or sat on

  • Be aware of their sacred/sensitive sites and do not enter them without permission

  • Scarce community resources should be used sparingly

  • When meeting Indigenous people or visiting communities, always ask before photographing a person, group or residence or culturally significant places, practices, images and ceremonies.

  • In Indigenous communities, mortuary rites often referred to as 'sorry business', are an obligation for the entire community. On the death of a senior person, access to an area may be closed for a period of time. Visitors should respect the communities' privacy in these matters.

When visiting natural and cultural sites we hope to leave behind only footsteps and bubbles…..


© Eye to Eye Marine Encounters