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Know The Flags

WHALE WARNING FLAG

The Whale Warning Flag was first introduced around Northern Vancouver Island by the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA) as a means of addressing the growing number of negative interactions between vessels and humpback whales. By using the same flag design we are collectively promoting and strengthening a consistent message of Whale Wise boating behavior throughout the transboundary waters of the Salish Sea.

If You Have A Flag:

  1. When you encounter whales within 0.65 miles (1 km) of your vessel raise the flag.
  2. Slow down to 7 knots or less.
  3. Follow the regulations and Be Whale Wise Guidelines
  4. Turn off fish finders and/or depth sounders

If You See A Flag:

  1. Whales are within the vicinity of the boat or land station flying the flag.
  2. Slow down to 7 knots or less.
  3. Follow the regulations and Be Whale Wise Guidelines
  4. Turn off Fish Finders and/or depth sounders
  5. Observe the direction of travel of the whales and other vessels to determine the proper way to approach or depart the area

Click here to learn more about how to get your own flag.

Find out more here.

CANADA’S AUTHORIZED VESSEL FLAG

Commercial whale watching operators are authorized to approach non-Southern Resident Killer Whales between 200m to 400m as they have trained naturalists on board and have agreed to undertake additional conservation practices to reduce impacts of whale watching on Southern Resident Killer Whales.

These vessels will have a purple authorized vessel (AV) flag. Do not follow them.

Authorized Vessel "AV" Flag