Will you pledge to protect wild dolphins in your daily life? It sounds easy but many people are not aware of some of the behaviors that can disturb marine mammals. Because dolphins are federally protected there are regulations about viewing wild dolphins. We're asking the general public and local businesses to "take the pledge". By signing this voluntary, non-obligatory pledge, we're asking you to follow the viewing best practices below. THANK YOU!
When Viewing Marine Mammals
1. It is illegal to feed, touch, swim with, encourage them to you or give water to marine mammals (locally includes dolphins, turtles and manatees).
2. Remain at least 100 yards from large whales, and 50 yards from dolphins and sea turtles in a watercraft (includes boats, jetskiis, kayaks and SUPs).
3. Limit time spent observing individuals and groups of animals to 30 minutes or less.
4. Do not chase, encircle, or leapfrog animals with any watercraft. Do not trap animals between watercraft or the shore.
5. Avoid approaching marine mammals when another watercraft is near. Multiple vessels are more likely to disturb marine mammals.
6. Avoid excessive speed or sudden changes in speed or direction near whales, dolphins, or porpoises.
7. When encountering marine mammals, slow down, operate at no-wake speed. Put your engine in neutral when whales approach to pass.
8. Avoid approaching dolphins when calves are present. Never put your watercraft between a mother and calf.
9. Never pursue or follow marine wildlife—any vessel movement should be from the recommended distance and slightly parallel to or from the rear of the animal. If you need to move around marine wildlife, do so from behind. Never approach head-on.
10. Do not intentionally direct your watercraft or accelerate toward a marine mammal with the intent of creating a pressure wake allowing them to bow or wake-ride.
11. Slowly leave the area if marine mammals show signs of disturbance (such as loudly blowing, tail slapping, abrupt changes in behavior or movements, or changes in group dynamics).
12. Do not approach strand feeding dolphins from shore. We recommend staying back at least 15 yards to reduce disturbance.
13. Never encourage dolphins to approach you with food or noise, allow them to choose to interact. If they do, be still, quiet and respectful.
14. Discard bait or released catch away from dolphins. If dolphins are present, move away and discreetly discard.