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Whale watching safety in the Kimberley

Safety distances required when within 300m of a whale
Safety distances required when within 300m of a whale DBCA

Humpback whale migration and calving season has begun in the Kimberley region with these giants of the sea putting on a show for visitors and residents.

While spectacular to watch, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is reminding people in recreational vessels to keep a safe distance from the humpback whales.

DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service West Kimberley district manager Craig Olejnik said it was important that people on boats were not risking their safety and the safety of the animals by getting too close.

“WA’s humpback whale population has continued to recover over the last 50 years with more than 30,000 swimming past the Kimberley coast from July through to September,” Mr Olejnik said.

“It is a fantastic time for spotting whales from the shore or a boat however it is important that people are aware the required safety distance from a whale is 100m.

“Staff will be visiting boat ramps and conducting regular water patrols to provide whale interaction information to the public over the coming weeks.”

The following regulations apply if you are within 300m of a whale:

• A vessel must not approach a whale within a distance of 100m, and within an arc of 60 degrees of the whale’s direction of travel or from behind

• If a whale does decide to interact with your vessel remain at a distance of 100m with your motor in neutral or move slowly away at a speed of less than 5 knots to maintain the 100m safe distance.

• Vessels must abandon all interaction with a whale at any sign of distress or disturbance (including diving for prolonged periods or swimming evasively).

For more information, contact the Parks and Wildlife Service Broome office on (08) 9195 5500.

Media contact: DBCA Media 9219 9999
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @waparkswildlife

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 11:27