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Act Responsibly

Be Whale Wise is a partnership of governments, non-profits, and other stakeholders with the common goal of protecting the unique marine resources of the Salish Sea and educating the public about these resources and how to properly interact with them. Be Whale Wise informs you on the local laws pertaining to marine mammals, as well as going beyond to provide additional guidelines that will make you a safer boater and a steward to our natural resources.

One of the most thrilling experiences one can have in this world is seeing an orca whale in the wild for the first time. The Salish Sea is home to many marine mammals, but most known as the home of the Southern Residents. This unique population of orca whales only feeds on salmon and live in close family groups. Unfortunately, the Southern Residents were listed as endangered in 2005, with only 75 remaining as of early 2019. One of the best ways to help these whales is to Be Whale Wise!


For more information of these regulations and additional information please explore this website or contact us with any questions.

Be Whale Wise

On May 8, 2019 Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed the Orca Recovery Bills that were produced from the Orca Task Force in 2018. One of these bills focuses on changes to vessel regulations within state waters. All vessels must now stay 300 yards away from Southern Resident killer whales, 400 yards out of the path or behind the whales, and remain under 7 knots within a half mile of the whales. This is an increase from 200 yards, which has been a state law since 2009. For reference on the water, 300 yards is about three Washington State Ferry lengths or one and a half football fields away from the whales.

If you are on the water and you see a vessel flying a Whale Warning Flag or whale watching vessels then you know whales are in the vicinity and you must slow to below 7 knots, then pay attention to the orientation of other boats and direction of travel of the whales to maintain 300 yards away and 400 yards out of the path of the whales.