Federal Laws And Marine Mammal Viewing
Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the TAKE
of all marine mammal species in U.S. waters. Take means "to
harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt,
capture, or kill," and harassment means "any act
of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential
to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild;
or has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine
mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral
patterns, including, but not limited to migration, breathing,
nursing, breeding, feeding, sheltering." TAKE
includes feeding or attempting to feed a marine mammal in
the wild. Some exceptions are made for authorized scientific
research and subsistence hunting by Alaska Natives.
The Endangered Species Act prohibits the TAKE of species listed as endangered or threatened. The definition of TAKE under the Endangered Species Act adds the terms harm, pursue, shoot, wound, trap and collect to the Marine Mammal Protection Act definition of TAKE.
Guidelines and regulations presented here are designed to prevent wildlife viewers from violating federal law and to reduce the potential for wildlife viewing to inadvertently harm whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions. This information does not replace federal law.
Mammal Viewing … "Code of Conduct"
law prohibits pursuit of marine mammals.
at least 100 yards from marine mammals.
spent observing individual(s) should be limited to 30 minutes.
should not be encircled or trapped between boats, or boats
approached by a whale, put the engine in neutral and allow
the whale to pass.
Federal Laws and Guidelines provided by National Marine Fishery
a 1500-foot minimum altitude when viewing marine mammals
from the air.
hovering, landing, taking off, and taxiing near marine mammals
on land or in the water is likely to harass the animals.