Overzealous Boaters Collide with Humpback Whales
November 1, 2011
As a red tide brings a mass conglomeration of sea life into Monterey Bay, boaters head out to get an up-close look at one of the marine sanctuary’s favorite attractions, humpback whales. But some eager boaters have gotten a little too close for comfort.
The whales are a common sight along the Central Coast this time of year, but the last few weeks have seen humpbacks closer to shore than at any time this year, especially off the coast of Santa Cruz. With the feeding whales so close, boaters and kayakers alike have descended on the animals, resulting in collisions, capsizing and damage to a handful of vessels.
There is no word on injuries to the whales, but officials from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are warning boaters to keep their distance—not only to keep the whales safe, but to keep themselves out of trouble.
The MBNMS has rules concerning how close and in what way vessels can engage with humpbacks while in the sanctuary. Simply keeping 100 yards distance and avoiding following or crossing in front of the whales are just a few rules to follow that can keep one from being charged stiff penalties and fines, not to mention keep the endangered Humpbacks safe.
And if you can’t get out and see Monterey Bay’s colossal cetaceans in person, take a gander at the following video.