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Practice Safe Whale Watching

There has been a lot of press and buzz recently because the blue whale, the largest living animal, can be seen close to Southern Californiaís shore, making this the perfect time for whale watching. As you head out to see the whales on your boat, kayak or jet ski, remember to follow the whale watching guidelines outlined in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). These guidelines apply to all marine mammals including sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales.

Vessel guidelines for whale watching:
  • Always stay at least 100 yards away from a whale
  • Donít chase whales and donít drive erratically
  • If whales are in the area, be alert, slow down, and avoid disturbing their normal behavior
  • Keep your boat parallel to a whale and maintain the same speed as the slowest whale in a group
  • Do not move into the path of the whale
  • If possible, put your boat in neutral and allow the whales to approach
Download the National Marine Fisheries Service whale whatching guidelines (.pdf)

By following the MMPA guidelines, you'll be able to enjoy whale watching and keep the whales safe too! Boaters caught violating the MMPA can face fines of up to $10,000, or criminal prosecution with a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment.


Post Date: Monday, October 3, 2011

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