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Watch out for whales!

Watch out for whales!

With boat season starting soon, its a good idea to remember to keep a look out for whales and other sea creatures who deserve our caution. Spring is the time of year that both Right Whales and Humpback whales return to New England waters to calve their young and feed in the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic. Other whale species in the region also include the Finn whale. Their migration route takes them up the outside of Cape Cod across Stellwagen Bank past Provincetown and Massachusetts Bay. When you are cruising in these areas, it’s not uncommon to see the familiar spout or tale of a surfacing whale. As tempting as it is to get a closer look, its safest for you and the whale to keep your distance. If you see a whale, SLOW DOWN to no more than 10 knots. Keep at least 500 yards away. That distance is state law for vessels over 65 ft in regard to Right whales but a good rule of thumb for any type of whale. The largest killer of whales is propeller strike and entanglement in fishing gear. For small pleasure boats, a surfacing whale represents a real danger to the boat as well. If you observe a whale watch boat in the area, be on extra lookout for the large mammals. If you see a whale or sea turtle in distress, you should report the sighting to the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Marine Animal Reporting Hotline 866-755-6622 or radio the coast guard as a non-emergency. 

The best way to see whales is on a whale watch boat where the captains are trained on the correct way to observe these beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitat without disturbing them.

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