Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006

About this document

The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005 outline the standards that allow people to observe and interact with whales and dolphins in a way that ensures animals are not harmed.

Whales and dolphins may be disturbed by the presence of people, whether they are on the land, in a boat or aircraft as well as activities such as swimming and diving, feeding, touching, and making noise. The potential problems from disturbance may include disruption of behaviour, displacement from important habitat areas, and reduced breeding success.

These Guidelines were developed jointly by the Australian and all state and territory governments through the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council. They provide a consistent national policy for the management of whale and dolphin watching. They build upon and replace the Australian National Guidelines for Cetacean Observation, published in 2000.

The guidelines provide advice for all governments in the development, updating and implementation of laws regulating whale and dolphin watching.