Boating with Whales-What Speed?

 Photo: Laura Herriott, Pacific Whale Foundation

Statistics show that at a speed of 15 knots or less, collisions with whales are greatly reduced.  So, during whale season, November through April of the following year, especially in water depths of 100 fathoms or less, maintain a speed of 15 knots or less to reduce your risk of striking a whale.

A slower speed during whale season not only protects the animals, but is prudent to reduce impacts from collision with these large animals to humans. A slower speed also reduces the risk of unintentional harassment, which often goes undetected. 

Suggested speeds posted in these web pages are based on the best available science from Hawaii and other regions. However, the best approach to mitigating impacts is to be a prudent mariner. 

As always, it’s a good idea to post a lookout to help scan the waters ahead and to the sides of the vessel for marine life as you go.


1. What TIME of Year?

2. What DEPTH?

3. What SPEED?


5. What’s the SOLUTION?


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