Marine Wildlife

 

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

General:
  • 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.
On shore:
  • 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.
At sea
  • 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

Pest Free Warrant

Marine Wildlife

Marine Wildlife

Gulf Eco Warriors

Gulf Eco Warriors

Book Your Eco Adventure NOW!

- Individual / Group / Corporate & Private Bookings Accepted –