2021-04-05 - 14:14:43 POLITICS |
Government Issue Guidelines For Whale Watching
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has received reports of reckless boaters and swimmers trying to get close to whales, endangering both the whales and themselves. Whales are wild animals and can be unpredictable, particularly if agitated.
To minimize the disturbance caused by whale watchers and to ensure the safety of the boating public while they watch the whales, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has developed guidelines for whale watching which are available at https://environment.bm/whale-watching-guidelines. The Department asks that members of the public familiarize themselves with these guidelines prior to going whale watching.
In particular, DENR asks that the boating public DOES NOT approach closer than 100 meters (or 300 feet) to any whale. Whales will sometimes approach a boat of their own accord. If this occurs, put your engine in neutral and let the animal(s) come to you. If a whale tries to leave the area where you are in a boat, do not chase after it.
It is strongly recommended that members of the public do NOT swim with any whales, no matter how docile they may appear. With a casual slap of their tail, or even a fin, the whale could unintentionally strike a swimmer causing injury or even worse. Those tails and fins are big and heavy! Boaters and swimmers may not intend to be intrusive, but getting too close to the whales can actually disrupt feeding, nursing and migrating behaviors, and boats, in particular, can cause unintended injuries to the whale.
Behavior that indicates a whale is agitated or no longer interested in staying near a vessel may include:
• Regular changes in travelling direction or speed of swimming
• Tail slapping or trumpet blows
• Repetitive diving
• Hasty dives
• Changes in breathing patterns
• Increased time spent diving compared to time spent at the surface
• Changes in vocalization behavior
Under the Protected Species Act 2003 it is an offense to injure, disturb or harass a humpback or sperm whale. A person who commits such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $25,000 or two years imprisonment. If you see a boat harassing a whale please contact the Fisheries Wardens at 535-4615 or the Operation Center of the Coast Guard at 294-0610. If you have a camera please take photographs or video recordings of the harassment, including the boat name and registration number. Send that evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The peak weeks for humpback whales to be spotted around Bermuda are mid-March through April. They swim through our waters on their journey from their breeding grounds in the Caribbean to their feeding grounds on the eastern seaboard of North America, and for some as far north as Greenland and Iceland.
It is absolutely thrilling to see these magnificent animals spouting, breaching, slapping their fins and tails on the water or swimming along slowly with a calf, but they need to be treated with consideration and respect.
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.
User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.
TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.
TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.
91 New Positive Coronavirus Cases Recorded Today, 40 Persons In Hospital, 6 People In ICU
The Ministry of Health received 2100 test results since the last update, and 91 were positive for co
“Why Bermudians should be Angry” Say Vic Ball
We all feel it. There is a high level of fear, anxiety, concern and trepidation in our country. What
Public Engagement Launched to Help Determine Signatures for Senior Signature Schools
Education Reform for the Bermuda Public School System continues this week with the launch of the eng
Ministry of Social Development and Seniors Regarding Assistance for Bermuda's Unsheltered Populatio
In light of the Government's current mandated Stay-At-Home Order, the Minister of Social Development
Bermuda Record Another Covid Related Death
This evening, the Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson regrets to advise the public that sadly, B
Premier Burt Tested Positive For Low - Level Coronavirus Infection
I sadly begin tonight by again offering my deepest condolences to the families of the two individual
Bermuda College Vaccine Center Is Accepting Walk-Ins 50 Years And Older
The Bermuda College vaccination centre is today still continuing to accept walk-ins for those person
End Compulsory Worship in the Schools
The Education Committee of Social Justice Bermuda calls for an end to compulsory worship within the
Dunkley Talks about Bus and Minibus Dispute
The current dispute between bus and minibus operators and the government of Bermuda, former Premier
3 NEW POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS CASES RECORDED TODAY
There were 769 test results received by the Ministry of Health since the last update, and three were
Exceptional Turnout for Community Feeding
Nina Webb felt that, with everything that went on in 2020, Bermudians have drifted away from one ano
BELCO Successfully Tackles Island-Wide Power Outage
On Friday, December 18, Bermuda experienced its first island-wide power outage since 2005. This outa