Govt: Please Do Not Swim With The Whales

April 8, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said they are “receiving an increasing number of reports about people entering the water to swim with the whales,” adding that it is “strongly recommended that members of the public do not swim with any whales, no matter how docile they may appear, as they are wild animals and can be unpredictable, especially if disturbed.”Whale Bermuda April 2019 (1)

“Mid-March through April are the peak weeks for humpback whales to be spotted around Bermuda,” explained Senior Marine Conservation Officer Sarah Manuel.

“They swim through our waters on their journey from their breeding grounds in the Caribbean to their feeding grounds on the eastern seaboard of North America, and for some as far north as Greenland and Iceland.

“Watching these majestic animals, spouting, breaching or swimming along slowly with a calf is a thrilling experience. While well-meaning boaters and swimmers may not intend to be intrusive, getting too close to the whales can actually disrupt feeding, nursing and migrating behaviors, and boats, in particular, can cause unintended injuries to the whale.

“Furthermore, while it might be very tempting to get up close and even get in the water with these amazing animals, they are wild animals and can be unpredictable, particularly if perturbed.”

Whale Bermuda April 2019 (2)

A spokesperson said, “It is an offense under the Protected Species Act 2003 to disturb or harass a humpback whale. If a whale tries to leave the area, do not chase it. Behavior that indicates the whale is agitated or no longer interested in staying near a vessel may include:

  • Regular changes in travelling direction or speed of swimming.
  • Hasty dives.
  • Changes in respiration patterns.
  • Increased time spent diving compared to time spent at the surface.
  • Changes in acoustic behavior.
  • Certain surface behaviors such as tail slapping or trumpet blows.
  • Repetitive diving.

“To ensure the safety of the boating public while they watch the whales, and to minimize the disturbance caused by whale watchers, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has developed guidelines for whale watching which are available here. The department asks that members of the public familiarize themselves with these guidelines prior to going whale watching.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (16)

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  1. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    Jonah got swallowed by a whale,so can you!

    • Onion Juice says:

      Looks like that tail got a chunk taken out of it.

    • bluenose says:

      I assume that you are joking, but, just in case, you should know that a Humpback Whale could not swallow a person due to it’s extremely narrow throat. Just FYI.

      • St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

        clearly you did not have a good education!
        Google Jonah and the Whale.

        • Lambertini says:

          …Um Jonah was ‘swallowed’ by a “Large Fish”… NOT a whale. Tsk!

  2. sage says:

    Have you guys got equipment to assist entangled whales? I am yet to see one live, I admit I would be tempted to swim with them, if I hadn’t been traumatized by ‘Jaws’ in my youth.

  3. patrick bean says:

    “… they are wild animals and can be unpredictable, especially if disturbed.”

    Sounds and awful lot like …….. us!

    • Onion Juice says:

      This article is laughable, who in their right mind is gonna swim with whales.
      Then again some people swim with sharks ………..

    • Tricia Thompson-Browne says:

      PBean : Ha ! Indeed, quite agree.

  4. James Love says:

    Wales are wiser than 100 men combined they know if you mean them harm and will avoid you.

    • St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

      James Love,
      stay behind after school!
      write out 100 times “It’s Whales,not Wales,Wales is the land of Dragons,next door to England”

  5. Real Deal says:

    lol i have a profile in my head

  6. JohnBoy says:

    Funny how humans need to be warned to not do the obvious.

  7. Kathy says:

    Chance in a lifetime! I would absolutely get in the water.