South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN)
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POLICY ON BOAT BASED WHALE WATCHING (BBWW)

Under the Group's Constitution one of its main objectives is to protect all species of dolphins and whales as far as it is able from commercial, monetary and other forms of exploitation.
The formation and change of policies have to be based on sound scientific research. For several years a plethora of scientific observations on both short and long-term harassment and disturbance of whales and dolphins have been forthcoming showing that boats going too close to whales especially, but at times dolphins, does disturb them.
The Group has never supported boat-based whale watching in any form and reinforces this option based on recent scientific research.

Boat Based Whale Watching (BBWW), though continuing to proliferate worldwide, is NOT a replacement for commercial killing of whales and is considered by experts in their field to be A NON-LETHAL BUT CONSUMPTIVE EXPLOITATION OF WHALES.
It is hoped that in future the foregoing clause will be included when updating BBWW regulations, protocols and Codes of Conduct.
THE GROUP SUPPORTS THIS SCIENTIFIC OPINION AND HAS MADE IT POLICY
 

No one doing commercial or any other form of boat-based whale watching is allowed to link DAPG’s name or logo to their operation.
 

SOUTH AFRICAN REGULATIONS TO PROTECT WHALES AND DOLPHINS

[MARINE LIVING RESOURCES ACT (Act NO.18 of 1998)] *

GENERAL PROHIBITIONS

3. (1) No person, shall except on the authority of a permit -

(a) kill, or attempt to kill, fish for, or harass a whale or a dolphin;
(b) feed, keep or control a whale or a dolphin;
(c) be in possession of any part of , or a product made from, a whale or a dolphin;
(d) use any vessel or fish processing establishment for the purpose of
fishing, freezing or processing of a whale or a dolphin or any part thereof, or participate in the operation or activities of such an establishment or vessel;
(e) have on board any vessel or at any fish processing establishment any
gear, apparatus or appliances intended to be used in any manner for the fishing or the processing of whales or dolphins or participate in the operation or activities of such a vessel or establishment;
(f) supply any ship stores to any vessel used for or  in connection with the
fishing, freezing or processing of whales and dolphins;
(g) if in charge of a vessel or aircraft, approach closer than 300 metres to
any whale or fail to proceed to a distance of 300 metres if a whale surfaces closer than 300 metres from the vessel or aircraft;
(h) deliberately drive through a school of dolphins;
(i) advertise or undertake a vessel trip, whether for gain or not, which is
intended to provide for a swim-with-dolphin-experience;
(j) offer their services or derive financial gain in connection with any
activities prohibited in this sub-regulation,

Provided that paragraphs (a), (b) and (j) of this sub-regulation shall not apply to a bona fide effort by any person to render assistance to a beached whale or dolphin or to efforts made by persons appointed by the Department to render assistance to trapped or entangled whales or dolphins.

(2) The Minister has discretion to/determine the fate of stranded or entangled cetaceans ..
(3) No person may carry on a boat-based whale watching or dolphin watching operation except on the authority of a permit issued under regulation 5 against payment of the prescribed permit fee determined by the Minister in terms of section 25 of the Act.
(4) No person shall advertise, or cause to be advertised, boat-based whale watching or dolphin watching operations or services, unless such an operation or service is permitted in terms of these regulations.
(5) No person under the control or supervision of an operator may feed or swim with whales or dolphins.
(6) No operator, crew  member, or client under the control or supervision of an operator  may enter a closed or restricted area other than on the written authority of the Director General.
(7) No person may approach whales or dolphins, tag them, or in any other manner interfere with them, in order to do research other than on the authority of a permit or exemption issued by the Minister.
(8) No researchers are allowed to advertise their services on a permitted operator's website.

* These amendments to the MARINE LIVING RESOURCES ACT 1998 were gazetted on 4 July 2008 : Government Gazette No. 31212



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