|Re: One concern|
Posted by Rick_C on October 10, 2011 at 09:26:35:|
In Reply to: One concern posted by jeff Shaw on October 09, 2011 at 23:38:15:
The whales have been around for many weeks now and seem to totally accept the kayakers and paddle boarders as part of their environment. As far as the legalities, the MMPA of 1972 makes it illegal to hunt, capture, kill or harass any marine mammal. As an advocate for the whales, Iíve done some extensive research, including talking to an information warden at the DFG marine division. As a result, it is my understanding that there are no specific regulations about swimming or kayaking near a whale. Harassment would be open to interpretation, but could be an act that causes a marine mammal to alter itís natural behavior in some kind of negative way. There is a group of paddle boarders that has been paddling out to the whales almost daily and the whales donít seem to mind them whatsoever. On Saturday the whales could be seen lunge feeding around boats all day long. The main potential for harassment would be boaters IMO. We havenít witnessed any yahoos this year, but last year we saw some out of control boaters racing right up in front of whales with engines at full throttle. If all you have is a paddle, the only way to have a close encounter is if the whale cooperates and wants to be there. It was extremely lucky and fortunate to not only have some of the close encounters we had, but to capture these on video. I would hope the whales I swam down to enjoyed the experience as much as I did, but in any event they werenít bothered and continued to surface feed and go about their business. By sharing this footage, I would hope that as Jeff Shaw said, Ö will benefit the whales by inspiring the public to admire and respect them. If you are an out of control yahoo with a big motor, stay home, otherwise try and get out while the whales are still around as the experience can be truly magical.
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