Whale Sanctuaries – Keep Out!

Many boaters don’t know about areas reserved for the whales

Our beloved Southern Resident killer whales have been given an extra layer of protection through the creation of Santuary Zones that restrict all travel in these precious foraging areas.  This link shows you where these locations are found.

If you use Navionics, these areas are indicated as “Vessel No Go Zone”.  Substantial fines will be applied to boaters who enter these zones – many times without radio warning.  So please check your charts and this link before you depart to avoid unnecessary fines.  The most commonly transited areas affected by this include the west side of North Pender Island, the southwest side of Saturna, and Swiftsure Bank at the west entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Please be sure to continue to look for updates to this notice from the Department of Fisheries as these areas can change. 

And don’t forget the year-round Marine Mammal Regulations for staying clear of our marine mammals:

  • 200 metres away from all killer whales in Canadian Pacific waters other than those described above
  • 200 metres away from all whales, porpoises and dolphins when in resting position or with a calf
  • 100 metres for other whales, porpoises and dolphins
quick video on where the sanctuary zones are

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