The Dolphin SMART program criteria are the foundation of the program for promoting dolphin conservation. You are helping to accomplish the Dolphin SMART mission by agreeing to voluntarily comply with legal requirements, policies, and guidelines to prevent harassment of wild dolphins, as well as educate your guest on how they can be Dolphin SMART by incorporating the following program criteria into your trip:
1. Conduct Educational Onboard Briefing
Prior to viewing wild dolphins, conduct an educational onboard briefing about the Dolphin SMART program. The briefing includes:
(1) What the program is;
You may use a "script" to guide the onboard briefing. Conducting this onboard educational briefing serves many purposes, but mainly helps explain the need for the program and promoting its importance for dolphin conservation.
2. Provide Outreach Materials
Provide customers with outreach materials that promote the program objectives. Outreach materials supporting the Dolphin SMART program are provided to you at no charge. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request outreach materials.
Upon request by guests, provide additional outreach materials approved by program sponsors following the tour. Additional outreach materials currently available include:
This is especially important because... outreach is essential to raise awareness about dolphin conservation. By educating people of laws and regulations created to protect wild dolphins, they are more likely to follow established responsible viewing guidelines and participate in programs, such as Dolphin SMART. Outreach often has a ripple effect, so help others be Dolphin SMART!
3. Comply with Applicable Laws and Report Marine Mammal Strandings, Injuries, Entanglements, and Potential Violations
Comply with all applicable resource protection laws and regulations (e.g. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary regulations, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and/or State Departments of Natural Resources). Additional Information on each of these can be found at the following website:
4. Follow Established Policies, Guidelines, and Recommendations to Prevent Harassment
The following are designed to help prevent harassment of wild dolphins and are essential program criteria:
More information on these viewing criteria will be provided under the "Responsible Viewing" section.
5. Participate in Training
Participate in training provided by the program sponsors and partners to attain a program standard of knowledge on dolphin viewing etiquette, behavior, research, and natural history.
Ensure that all employees are trained according to program standards using the participant handbook and training DVD. Program sponsors provide necessary materials to ensure employees are trained according to the program standards.
6. Engage in Responsible Advertising
Engage in responsible advertising that promotes responsible wildlife viewing by following NMFS' "Recommendations for Marine Mammal Watching Advertisements."
More information on advertising criteria will be provided under the "Responsible Advertising" section.
7. Display current year Dolphin SMART flag and decal on vessel at all times.
This is especially important... to let the public and other vessels know that you are a current Dolphin SMART participant! It also helps continue to promote the program!