Wildlife and Habitat Protection

Healthy oceans means healthy marine wildlife – we cannot have one without the other.

Globally, many large marine animals will migrate seasonally to feed, mate, and give birth. Unfortunately, many marine species are now facing global declines, and as fellow ocean-users, it is our responsibility to be mindful of these marine animals and their habitats – as they are vital to local ecosystems, eco-tourism, and for our marine heritage for future generations.

Safe boating practices begin with careful event planning and active preventative measures to reduce the risk of disturbing wildlife. Wildlife disturbances occur when the normal behavior or animals changes due to human activities, or when animals suffer injuries from direct contact. Although often unintentional, our behavior and waste products can have very negative consequences for wildlife. Vessels can avoid many instances of contact and can be ready to take responsible action when they do happen.

Early planning, citizen science, and reporting of marine animal emergencies are important ways boaters can be ambassadors of the ocean. We have a responsibility to conserve the ocean and its wildlife, and to compel others to do the same. Our responsible boating behavior, including reporting wildlife incidents, will contribute to marine wildlife conservation, knowledge, and actions! 

To fulfill this Best Practice do at least one of the following:

  • Integrate key marine wildlife information into your event and notify participants in advance of any protocols around wildlife encounters (Wildlife Disruption Prevention Plan).
  • Provide participants with data reporting forms to be completed at sea, collecting any relevant information about wildlife.
  • Prepare participants to report collisions, injured wildlife, or damaged habitat.