Marine Mammals Protection Regulations 1992

18 Conditions governing commercial operations and behaviour of all persons around any marine mammal
  • Every commercial operation, and every person coming into contact with any class of marine mammal, shall comply with the following conditions:

    • (a) persons shall use their best endeavours to operate vessels, vehicles, and aircraft so as not to disrupt the normal movement or behaviour of any marine mammal:

    • (b) contact with any marine mammal shall be abandoned at any stage if it becomes or shows signs of becoming disturbed or alarmed:

    • (c) no person shall cause any marine mammal to be separated from a group of marine mammals or cause any members of such a group to be scattered:

    • (d) no rubbish or food shall be thrown near or around any marine mammal:

    • (e) no sudden or repeated change in the speed or direction of any vessel or aircraft shall be made except in the case of an emergency:

    • (f) where a vessel stops to enable the passengers to watch any marine mammal, the engines shall be either placed in neutral or be switched off within a minute of the vessel stopping:

    • (g) no aircraft engaged in a commercial aircraft operation shall be flown below 150 metres (500 feet) above sea level, unless taking off or landing:

    • (h) when operating at an altitude of less than 600 metres (2 000 feet) above sea level, no aircraft shall be closer than 150 metres (500 feet) horizontally from a point directly above any marine mammal or such lesser or greater distance as may be approved by the Director-General, by notice in the Gazette, from time to time based on the best available scientific evidence:

    • (i) no person shall disturb or harass any marine mammal:

    • (j) vehicles must remain above the mean high water spring tide mark and shall not approach within 50 metres of a marine mammal unless in an official carpark or on a public or private slipway or on a public road:

    • (k) no person, vehicle, or vessel shall cut off the path of a marine mammal or prevent a marine mammal from leaving the vicinity of any person, vehicle, or vessel:

    • (l) subject to paragraph (m), the master of any vessel less than 300 metres from any marine mammal shall use his or her best endeavours to move the vessel at a constant slow speed no faster than the slowest marine mammal in the vicinity, or at idle or no wake speed:

    • (m) vessels departing from the vicinity of any marine mammal shall proceed slowly at idle or no wake speed until the vessel is at least 300 metres from the nearest marine mammal, except that, in the case of dolphins, vessels may exceed idle or no wake speed in order to outdistance the dolphins but must increase speed gradually, and shall not exceed 10 knots within 300 metres of any dolphin:

    • (n) pilots of aircraft engaged in a commercial aircraft operation shall use their best endeavours to operate the aircraft in such a manner that, without compromising safety, the aircraft's shadow is not imposed directly on any marine mammal.