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New regulations for whale watching on the west coast

Last Updated Apr 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm PDT

(iStock)
Summary

New regulation doubles the distance of the federal already in place

Rules apply to groups in Canada and the US

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A group of whale-watching companies in Canada and the US have agreed to some new rules along the Pacific coast.

Dan Kukat is based out of Victoria and is one of the spokespeople for the Pacific Whale Watch Association.

The association has 32 members both in Canada and south of the 49th Parallel and is voluntarily agreeing to these rules.

Kukat says these rules are important for all marine life, so people can continue to watch these creatures for years to come.

“That they would do that from a minimum distance of 200 metres, which is double of what the law requires right now in Canada.”

But that’s not the only change.

“We have what we call a ‘go slow zone’. That’s 1km surrounding the nearest whale, you need to slow down to basically house speed something between five and seven knots.”

That distance is important not only to avoid any collisions with the whales, but it reduces the sound emission that impacts how the animals find food through echolocation.