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Education, conservation and sustainable tourism

Our aim at Futurismo is to make each tour an educational as well as emotional experience. Before the tour a marine biologist gives a briefing to inform our visitors about the conversion of whale hunting to whale watching in the Azores, species which may be sighted, rules of observation and respect for the animals and safety measures aboard. During the tour our biologists and guides explain more about the cetacean species sighted as well as other marine life and points of interest along the island. Additional information guides are also available aboard to add to the educational value of our tours. At the end of the tour the biologist gives a recap to explain which species were sighted and to show the sighting history of individual animals that were able to be identified from the tour.

Futurismo wants to ensure that all our activities are sustainable so that others can enjoy the Azorean nature in the future. We therefore try to minimise our impact on the environment and the animals we observe and we respect the rules of observation. Futurismo believes in supporting conservation projects and we regularly take local school groups and social institutions whale watching so that we may influence the next generation to also look after the environment. We also organise activity days with these groups and invite them to participate in conservation days, such as cleaning of the coastline and walking trails on the island. At sea we remove litter encountered in the water, in the office we reduce printing and use of excess paper and we recycle what we can. We also reduce our use of fuel at sea by using onshore lookouts to locate the animals, thereby reducing time spent searching and travelling.

Our recent partnership with the project Life Priolo, supports and promotes the conservation of the Priolo bird (Pyrrhula murina). This species is endemic to São Miguel Island in the Azores, more specifically to the mountain complex of Serra da Tronqueira, a protected area in the region of Nordeste and Povoação. Its estimated population is now approximately 1000 individuals, although it continues to be listed as critically endangered and is considered to be the most threatened passerine bird in all of Europe. The project Life Priolo contributes to promoting sustainable tourism in the region and during Futurismo’s activities in this region we include a visit to the project’s interpretation centre and surrounding wildlife area.