Friday, 31 May 2019 10:48

GOC issues signs agreement with whale watching association to help SRKW

557 srkw

 

The Government of Canada has announced several new measures that will help address the key threats to the SRKW, including the lack of prey, and acoustic and physical disturbance. The Government has issued an Interim Order, effective from June 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019, to protect whales from vessel disturbance. As of June 1, 2019:

  • Vessels must maintain a minimum distance of 400-metre from the whales within the SRKW critical habitat.
  • Commercial whale watch operators and eco-tourism companies may apply for an exemption, allowing them to a distance of 200-metres.
  • Vessels are prohibited from entering areas newly designated as Interim Sanctuary Zones, located at Swiftsure Bank, off the east coast of Saturna Island, and south-west of North Pender Island.
  • Vessel operators are asked to respect a "Go Slow" zone around whales by reducing speed to less than 7 knots when within 1,000 metres of a whale in the Enhanced Management Areas, and to reduce noise by turning echo sounders off when not in use and turning engines to neutral idle when within 400 metres of a whale.

 

 

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