Green Boating Guide

Protect marine species

Did you know the southern resident population of orcas is now officially listed endangered? Stay at least 100 metres from whales, porpoises and other marine mammals, and 200 metres from seal or sea lion hangouts. If you're lucky enough to get to travel with whales, always go parallel with their direction (don't cut across their path or stop just in front of them). Propeller scars are common on many marine mammals, use caution when they are near. Avoid erratic maneuvers, and never chase whales or other animals. Minimize your wake and engine noise.

The federal Fisheries Act makes it illegal to disturb marine mammals. Report observed violations or harassment of marine mammals to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans: 1-800-465-4336. For more detailed information on marine mammals and commercial operator best practices, see the Whale Watcher Operators Association’s guidelines at

Wildlife is sensitive to disturbance from people, boats and pets. Birds often abandon their nests and young, and feeding or other behaviour critical to survival can be disrupted. There are only 11,000 black oystercatchers left in the world. Between April and August they build camouflaged nests near the shoreline of small islets or spits. These are easy to disturb without even knowing you’ve done so.

  • Don’t approach within 100 metres of bird colonies.
  • Don’t allow pets ashore where they can disturb birds or nests. This can easily kill young birds.
  • Marine birds often nest on the ground or in burrows on small islets, cliffs and shorelines. These nests are difficult to see so be careful! For more information contact the Canadian Wildlife Service:1-604-666-0143.
  • Respect ecological reserves. These are identified on charts.

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