Marine Mammals Protection Regulations 1992

19 Special conditions applying to whales

In addition to complying with the provisions set out in regulation 18, every commercial operation and every person coming into contact with whales shall also comply with the following conditions:


no person in the water shall be less than 100 metres from a whale, unless authorised by the Director-General:


no vessel shall approach within 50 metres of a whale, unless authorised by the Director-General:


if a whale approaches a vessel, the master of the vessel shall, wherever practicable,—


manoeuvre the vessel so as to keep out of the path of the whale; and


maintain a minimum distance of 50 metres from the whale:


no vessel or aircraft shall approach within 300 metres (1 000 feet) of any whale for the purpose of enabling passengers to watch the whale, if the number of vessels or aircraft, or both, already positioned to enable passengers to watch that whale is 3 or more:


where 2 or more vessels or aircraft approach an unaccompanied whale, the masters concerned shall co-ordinate their approach and manoeuvres, and the pilots concerned shall co-ordinate their approach and manoeuvres:


no person or vessel shall approach within 200 metres of any female baleen or sperm whale that is accompanied by a calf or calves:


a vessel shall approach a whale from a direction that is parallel to the whale and slightly to the rear of the whale:


no person shall make any loud or disturbing noise near whales:


where a sperm whale abruptly changes its orientation or starts to make short dives of between 1 and 5 minutes duration without showing its tail flukes, all persons, vessels, and aircraft shall forthwith abandon contact with the whale.