How to approach whales, porpoises and dolphins 
  • SLOW DOWN: reduce speed to less than 7 knots when within 400 metres/yards of the nearest whale. Avoid abrupt course changes.
  • KEEP CLEAR of the whales’ path. If whales are approaching you, cautiously move out of the way.
  • DO NOT APPROACH from the front or from behind. Always approach and depart from the side, moving in a direction parallel to the direction of the whales, porpoises or dolphins.


  • DO NOT APPROACH or position your vessel closer than 100 metres/yards to any whale, porpoise or dolphin.
  • If your vessel is not in compliance with the 100 metres/yards approach guideline, place engine in neutral and allow whales to pass.
  • STAY on the OFFSHORE side of the whales when they are traveling close to shore.
  • DO NOT swim with, touch or feed marine wildlife.
Be Whale Wise Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers