Whale season has begun with boaties being reminded of the annual closure of conservation zones in the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.
This temporary closure will assist Southern Right Whales to successfully navigate their way to the head of the Bight for the breeding season.
The Park’s Restricted Access Zone and Marine Mammal Protection Zone are both off-limits to boats from 1 May to 31 October.
During their time here it’s important that we don’t disturb the marine life and let them run natures course.
During their time here, the Southern right whales migrate to Head of the Bight to mate, give birth and nurse their calves- and it is important we don’t disturb marine life during this time.
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula Compliance officer Lana Roediger is reminding locals there are strict regulations when observing whales, both on and offshore including a hefty fine for breaching regulations.
“With the increasing use of drones to capture footage it is important to remember that drones must maintain a minimum distance of 300m and that hovering a drone above a whale is not permitted,” Lana said.
“If you are in a small vessel on the water you must stay at least 100m away from a whale, while jet skis must remain at least 300m from whales, dolphins and seals at all times.
“People found to be in breach of these regulations face expiation fees of $315.”
Anyone wishing to report a distressed whale or an incident involving a marine mammal within waters or on the coast of the Eyre Peninsula are encouraged to call either the Western Eyre Peninsula Duty Ranger on 8626 1108 or the Eastern and Southern Eyre Peninsula Duty Ranger on 8688 3223.
For more information on whale watching regulations please visit: Environment.sa.gov.au whale watching regulations
Image Credit: Nature Resources EP