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Whales in San Francisco Bay
Whales in the Bay research project launched
For three years (1999-2002) the Oceanic Society collected opportunistic sightings and conducted surveys of San Francisco Bay, and found that gray whale use appeared to be increasing, whales are residents from February through May with occasional sightings throughout the year. We also learned that living in SF Bay can be dangerous. In 2012-13, our earlier research is being replicated. The scientific program will focus on describing the whales use of the bay and interactions between the whales and other components of the ecosystem (or effects of whales upon the ecosystem and effects of the ecosystem upon the whales). See our dedicated website: http://www.baywhales.org/
The following power point presentation was presented at the Marine Mammal Conference.
NOTICE TO BOATERS: Whalewatching Guidelines (Special Care should be taken in the presence of Mothers & Calves)
The National Marine Fisheries Service is the federal agency responsible for protecting gray whales under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. In order to protect the gray whale from harassment and to promote a better understanding of the need to avoid harassment, the National Marine Fisheries Service is providing these guidelines for safe, non-disruptive whalewatching.
Vessels should not be operated at speeds faster than a whale or group of whales while paralleling them within 100 yards.
Vessels should be operated at a constant speed while paralleling or following whales within 100 yards.
Vessels should do nothing to cause a whale to change direction.
Aircraft should not fly lower than 1,000 feet while within a horizontal distance of 100 yards from a whale.
Generally, a whale's normal behavior should not be interrupted. Such annoyance may cause a whale to change its direction rapidly, swim faster, or swim in an erratic pattern. To interrupt a whale's normal activity constitutes harassment and is against the law!
National Marine Fisheries Service
501 West Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90802-4213
Here is the link to the NOAA/NMFS guidelines: http://www.swr.noaa.gov/psd/watching.htm