Clean Marine BC

Boater interactions with wildlife & habitat

The biggest thrill of boating is the amazing wildlife that we encounter in and around the Salish Sea.

However, as boaters we must be mindful that our watercraft can cause:

  • Whales to experience stress and interruptions to feeding, mating, socializing, resting, and calf nurturing.
  • Birds to abandon their nests and young, and can disrupt feeding or other behaviour critical to survival.
  • Damage to sensitive habits such as estuaries, enclosed bays and narrow channels, eelgrass and kelp beds, and shellfish areas.
  • The unintentional spread of aquatic invasive species (on hulls, shoes or paddles) which can disrupt the existing balance of ecosystems and out-compete native species.

For more tips on how to minimize our disruption while boating, browse our Guide to Clean Boating.

Southern resident killer whales: 2023 regulations

These orcas are an endangered species. In May 2023, the population numbers 75 individuals – a number that includes two new calves that have been born in the last few months.

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Be Whale Wise

Keeping your distance from whales is vital in preventing physical disturbance and noise which can affect migratory patterns and communication between whales.

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Bird & habitat protection

Marine birds often nest on the ground or in burrows along the shoreline on islets and cliff sides. On top of the risk of pollution to these sensitive habitats, it’s also critical to avoid physical disturbance of these nesting zones.

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