Canada's Marine Mammal Regulations

Certain whales need more distance because of the threats they already face. There are also approach distances that are tailored to particular circumstances.

400 metres for all killer whales in Southern Resident Killer whale critical habitat* (June 1 – Oct. 31)
* Under the Canada Shipping Act. Some exceptions may apply.

200 metres for killer whales in B.C. and the Pacific Ocean.

400 metres for threatened or endangered whales, dolphins and porpoises in the St. Lawrence estuary and the Saguenay River.

200 metres for all whales, dolphins and porpoises in parts of the St. Lawrence estuary.

50 metres in parts of the Churchill estuary, including parts of the Churchill River and Seal River to allow safe boating activities.

Keeping a minimum of 100 metres away from most whales, dolphins, and porpoises, and keeping a minimum of 200 metres away if they are in resting position or with their calf.

Anyone in contravention of these Regulations can now be charged with an offence under the Fisheries Act.

Canada's updated Marine Mammal Regulations strengthen protections for marine mammals. Approaching marine mammals too quickly, coming too close or making too much noise can disturb, stress or even harm these beautiful creatures who call our waters home.

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