Federal Regulations Prohibit approaching Orca Closer than 200 Yards
Orca Relief urges every boater to follow strictly the Federal Regulations which “prohibit vessels from approaching killer whales within 200 yards (182.9 m) and from parking in the path of whales when in inland waters of Washington State.” (Federal Register 76(72):20870)” In addition, Be Whale Wise guidelines recommend that boaters slow to 7 knots when within 400 yards of any single killer whale; even slower is better.
Please note that these regulations also apply to kayaks, sailboats, and row boats. The Kayak Education Leadership Program (KELP) has developed viewing guidelines specifically for kayakers. The Kayaker’s Code of Conduct provides information on responsible kayaking near whales and other wildlife.