Protecting Vulnerable Species
The Department of Conservation administers the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, which provides for the conservation, protection and management of marine mammals. This includes dolphins, Orca, whales & seals. Gulf Eco Adventures strictly adheres to all Marine Mammal Protection regulations.
Rules around marine mammals
- Do not disturb, harass or make loud noises near marine mammals.
- Contact should be ceased should marine mammals show any signs of becoming disturbed or alarmed.
- Do not feed or throw any rubbish near marine mammals.
- Avoid sudden or repeated changes in speed or direction of any vessel or aircraft near a marine mammal.
- There should be no more than 3 vessels and/or aircraft within 300m of any marine mammal.
- Give seals and sea lions space. Where practicable stay at least 20m away.
- Avoid coming between fur seals and the sea.
- Keep dogs on a leash and well away.
- Where practicable, do not drive vehicles closer than 50 m of a marine mammal.
- Never attempt to touch seals or sea lions – they can be aggressive and often carry diseases.
In the air:
- Aircraft should maintain a horizontal distance of greater than 150m when flying near any marine mammal.
- Avoid flying or imposing a shadow directly over a marine mammal either at sea or on shore.
- Ensure that you travel no faster than idle or ‘no wake’ speed within 300m of any marine mammal.
- Approach whales and dolphins from behind and to the side.
- Do not circle them, obstruct their path or cut through any group.
- Keep at least 50m from whales (or 200m from any large whale mother and calf or calves).
- Swimming with whales is not permitted.
- You may swim with seals and dolphins but not with dolphin pods with very young calves.
- Avoid approaching closer than 20m to seals and sea lions hauled out on shore.
- Idle slowly away. Speed may be gradually increased to out-distance dolphins and should not exceed 10 knots within 300 m of any dolphin.
If you notice a marine mammal being harassed, severely injured or entangled, contact DOC immediately on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
Pest Free Warrant
Gulf Eco Warriors
Book Your Eco Adventure NOW!
- Individual / Group / Corporate & Private Bookings Accepted –