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Boating around killer whales – 2021

Release date: May 2021
Infographic: Boating around killer whales – 2021
Description: Boating around killer whales – 2021

Boating around killer whales – 2021

Map of south coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Stay 400 m away from killer whales in all southern BC coastal waters between Campbell River and just north of Ucluelet. In effect until May 31, 2022.

It’s the law.

Vessels with a purple authorized vessel (AV) flag are authorized to be closer to non-Southern Resident killer whales. Do not follow them.

Do not enter Interim Sanctuary Zones (ISZ).

June 1 – November 30.

It’s the law.

Penalties for violations may apply.

Some exceptions apply, including:

  • Vessels accessing local residences and establishments; vessels in distress or providing assistance to a vessel or person in distress; vessels avoiding immediate or unforeseen danger and; Indigenous peoples exercising existing rights.
  • Human-powered vessels may transit directly through a 20 m corridor along the shoreline of the Pender and Saturna Island ISZs.

No recreational and commercial salmon fishing in area-based fishery closures

Swiftsure Bank – in effect July 16 – October 31

Juan de Fuca Strait – in effect August 1 – October 31

Gulf Islands – in effect from first confirmed presence of Southern Resident killer whales to October 31, 2021. Monitoring for Southern Resident killer whales in the Gulf Islands will begin June 1.

It’s the law.

ECHO Program large commercial vessel measures

Potentially active June 1 – November 30, based on whale presence:

  • Haro Strait and Boundary Pass voluntary vessel slowdown Large commercial vessel slow down — 11 kn (bulkers, tankers, general cargo) or 14.5 kn (containers, car carriers, cruise ships).

Active June 1 – October 31

  • Strait of Juan de Fuca voluntary inshore lateral displacement — Inshore vessels (tugs) move further away from shore into lateral displacement zone.
  • Slowdown for outbound large commercial vessels in Swiftsure Bank: Strait of Juan de Fuca voluntary inshore lateral displacement — 11 kn (bulkers, tankers, general cargo) or 14.5 kn (containers, car carriers, cruise).

Be Whale Wise

Stop fishing when within 1,000 m of killer whales.

Reduce speed to less than 7 kn when within 1,000 m of the nearest marine mammal.

When safe to do so, turn off fish finders and echo sounders.

Place engine in neutral idle and allow animals to pass if your vessel is not in compliance with the approach distance regulations.

Shipping lanes

Marine Mammal Regulations apply year-round in Canadian Pacific waters

Keep your distance it’s the law

  • 200 m away from all killer whales in BC, outside designated 400 m approach areas.
  • 200 m away from all whales, dolphins and porpoises when in resting position or with a calf.
  • 100 m away from all other whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Report violations to Fisheries and Oceans Canada Observe, Record, Report line at:

1-800-465-4336
DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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