Marine Mammal Research

Research helps us to better understand and better protect these amazing animals.

By joining us on a marine wildlife cruise you are directly contributing to valuable scientific research which helps us learn more about the wildlife of the Bay of Islands.

Data collected by Carino crew are shared with Department of Conservation and research agencies, contributing to studies which develop policies to better protect wildlife and the marine environment.

On the boat our crew record specific encounter information, including type of species encountered, gps location, group size, group composition, behaviour and the presence of boats around the animals.

We are always keen to support all marine mammal and wildlife research in the Bay of Islands and surrounds.

By working alongside DOC (Department of Conservation) and tertiary institutions, we can help to form codes of conduct, education the public and make better policies that will create a sustainable future. 

We have been supporting marine mammal research in the Bay of Islands since 1995.

On board Carino NZ we do daily research with a marine mammal interaction sheet. This contributes to the Department of Conservation National Sightings Database, for better management decisions and understanding the marine environment.

We have working relationships with:

  • Department of Conservation
  • Auckland and Massey Universities
  • Dolphin Reseacher on Carino NZ

    Orca Research

  • Project Island Song
  • Project Jonah
  • World Cetacean Alliance
  • Sustainable Seas New Zealand

Get involved in Citizen Science!

Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research.

Here are some projects that we are supporting at the moment. We would love for you to get involved!

Marine Mammal Sighting

To understand more about marine mammals in our waters we need more information about them. This is where you can help by reporting sightings.  You can download the Hector’s Dolphin Sightings App to report all your marine mammal sightings. The app was developed by Whale and Dolphin Conservation and Thundermaps in collaboration with DOC. The data collected by the app gets shared directly with DOC

Marine Metre Squared

Marine Metre Squared is an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local seashore. The NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago, is encouraging everyone to participate in long term monitoring of their marine environment – the Marine Metre Squared. Anyone can take part – individuals, families, schools and community groups. Register Here


Penguin Watch

You can contribute to penguin conservation, this is our favorite at present, wild egg hunt. It is for a great cause and we can’t get enough. Count penguins, chicks and eggs in far away lands to help us understand their lives and environment.



We are lucky to be able to work and play in the beautiful Bay of Islands Everyone with Carino NZ, all want to look after the natural beauty and help to conserve the wild life. This means we are very passionate about conservation.

 We take our responsibilities to the environment, local communities, customers, partners and employees very seriously and constantly review our policies and strive to make improvements where we can.

How we try to minimise our impact on the environment:

  • By allowing space in our sailing boats for people to recycle
  • By using biodegradable cleaning products and avoiding dumping of chemicals or non-natural products into the sea.
  • By having everyone involved in our business promoting and doing responsible travel and encouraging our guests to embrace responsible travel principles.
  • By asking all guests that waste should never be thrown into the sea
  • By encouraging our guests to help us clean up any litter that they see in the water or on the beach.
  • By avoiding wasting paper in the office and using the internet as the main form of communication.
  • By using wind power as often as possible.
  • By having natural ventilation on our boats instead of an air-conditioning system.
  • By using a long-lasting antifouling which is less harmful to the environment.
  • At sea we remove litter encountered in the water
  • Any food left over after the tour is sorted to be used or composted
  • By keeping up to date with developments and new products that appear in the industry that minimise negative impact on the environment.

How we support the local economy and community:

  • By buying local/seasonal produce
  • By regularly having a crew conservation day, of beach clean-up and snorkeling for debris in the bays.
  • By providing cruises for local children to experience the marine environment and to become Kaitiaki
  • By being a sponsor of Project Island song a local tree planting program
  • By educating staff and guests and our local community about local environmental issues
  • By collecting data on the marine wildlife on all out our cruises, to help make better management decisions
  •  By creating a marine mammal SAFE project with the view to minimising disturbance to marine wildlife
  • By encouraging our guest to stay longer in the area and try local businesses
  • Our recent partnership with Better Good, a local bottled water company in not plastic, completes the life cycle of water bottles. Our drinks are fair trade and organic.

 Our Wildlife Promise:

We are committed to responsible and respectful marine mammal watching, here in the Bay of Islands and New Zealand