Sunday, March 30, 2014

Orca Harassment?

On the west coast of  Canada we have laws that simply state that orca are not to be chased or harassed in any way. The video below was taken couple of hundred meters off the coast of Auckland's North Shore. What do you think? Would you consider the actions of the SUP to be harassment?

Here in Canada the Canada the Be Whale Wise - Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers regulations require a minimum separation distance of 100 meters by watercraft and this applies to human powered craft like kayaks and SUP's. Sure there may be times when the orca approach a watercraft but at no time is the operator to navigate closer than the regulations allow.

Image by Government of Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Funny .... New Zealand has similar rules and regulations noted by the  Department of Conservation. In fact their minimum closure distance is 150 meters for aircraft(?) but for boaters "common sense rules and regulations exist so as disturbance and danger are minimized."    So I ask you again .... Would you consider the actions of the SUP in the video to be harassment? 


  1. Reading the link you provided to the New Zealand regs, they actually don't offer a minimum safe distance for watercraft, only a 150m safe distance for aircraft. However, they do say "(m)anoeuvre your boat sensitively near dolphins. Do not obstruct their path, cut through a group or separate mothers from calves" which is exactly what this clownhead was doing. Paddling as hard as you can towards a baby orca? Oh yeah, that's harassment.

    1. I stand corrected on the New Zealand regulations. Thanks John. :-) I wonder how much a problem New Zealand was having to put in an aircraft rule and not even consider surface vessels. Seems a little backward to me.

  2. Yup. Harassment. Whether we're on a sailboat, motorboat, or in a kayak, we STOP. If they come up to us, well, there's not much we can do about that. But geez. Not only harassment, but stupidity as well. Hopefully this nut hasn't bred and polluted the gene pool.