It’s not about having a whale of a time, tour boats must give a ...


It’s not about having a whale of a time, tour boats must give a wide berth

A study has shown whales and dolphins do not enjoy being viewed close up, hence the laws that are in place

Senior features writer

Humpback whales and dolphins are sensitive to the approaches of whale-watching boats, but most operators in Plettenberg Bay have not been adhering fully to regulations that protect these social marine mammals, a new study shows.

“Out of the 123 whale and dolphin encounters we observed in Plettenberg Bay from 2018 to 2020, only 11 were 100% compliant with all the regulations governing animal encounters,” said project team member Minke Witteveen, from Nelson Mandela University’s Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (

More than 30 permits (not all active) have been granted for boat-based whale watching in marine hotspots — including False Bay, Hermanus, Gansbaai, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and St Lucia — and the industry is expanding. ..

This article is free to read if you register or sign in.

Sunday Times Daily

If you have already registered or subscribed, please sign in to continue.

Questions or problems?
Email or call 0860 52 52 00.