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Bad sighting practices, such as running over boats, noise from numerous boats and contamination with solid waste, are some of the problems that endanger sperm whales.
From June 15 until October 12, locals and foreigners have the opportunity to enjoy one of the majestic attractions that nature offers: whale watching within Colombian waters. However, the bad practices of visitors and ecotourism companies have hurt the whales and their whales.
A good part of the humpback whales or yubartas of the world cross approximately 8 thousand kilometers of the Antarctic until they reach the Colombian waters, to develop their reproductive stage from fertilization and gestation, to the birth of whales.
But situations have been reported that violate whale watching rules , generating watercraft repression, harassment of cetaceans, in some cases physical damage and even people swimming with mammals.
That is why, National Parks, regional environmental authorities, government, scientific and biologists, ask people who comply with the protocols that establish the prohibition of having direct contact with cetaceans, you can not perform diving activities or the maximum approach to its habitat through any type of boat.
Although the whales do not attack the man, a sighting with imprudence could cause accidents since, in their eagerness to observe these immense mammals they fall into actions that disturb their tranquility or lead them to make movements that cause accidents.
“The sighting is a gift of nature that we should all admire and protect, therefore, the Pacific Territorial Directorate of Natural National Parks of Colombia, the Governance of Valle del Cauca, the General Maritime Directorate, the regional autonomous Corporation of Valle del Cauca and the different entities and community councils will continue working together to continue preserving this beautiful natural spectacle and ensuring the protection of the whales and other species of the Colombian Pacific, ”he said through a statement National Parks of Colombia.
These are the recommendations that National Natural Parks of Colombia gives to guarantee a pleasant and responsible sighting:
- In any case you should not approach a distance less than 200 meters from the whale. • When you are 300 meters or less, you must navigate at a slow speed without exceeding that of the whale’s swim, or failing that, you must have the engine in neutral.
- You can approach parallel to the whale, slightly behind and stand forward but without obstructing its passage allowing it to approach. Direct approaches in front and behind are threatening to humpbacks.
- You should avoid sudden changes in speed. When you have to do them continuously, as well as direction.
- Do not approach a mother with her offspring, if it does it is prudent to move away at low speed and without producing waves.
- If the whales are jumping or performing some behavior maneuver, they should move away since they require space. Getting closer than allowed could cause accidents.
- Bikers of large vessels must remain at a distance of 2 km when they observe researchers who are making recordings.
- The removal of whales has to be done slowly without causing waves.
On the part of the travelers:
- Know the rules that govern boats and ensure that motorists comply with them.
- Do not attempt to disperse whale groups.
- Do not feed them or throw trash or trash into the sea.
- If you are swimming and accidentally find a whale, do it more than 30 meters away, trying to get away as soon as possible.
- Try to keep silent, loud noises bother you.
- Look towards the sea and watch for the blows or movements of the whales.
Waiting area and boats:
- Address the induction of 10 minutes on the importance of the Protected Area and its role in ecological processes such as reproduction, birth, breeding, lactation and socialization of whales.
- Verify that the vessels carry a flag or sighting authorization badge.
- Ensure that an environmental interpreter goes on the boats.
- Keep in mind that the observation of cetaceans may be carried out in order of arrival of the vessels.
- Remember that the time allowed for vessels to make the sighting is from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.
- If only one vessel is found in the sighting area, it is suggested that it not remain for more than 30 minutes.
- If there is more than one vessel, the period of time should not exceed 15 minutes. A maximum number of three simultaneous vessels in sighting activity is recommended to the same individual or group.
- The approach should be carried out slowly, in parallel and always behind.
- It is essential to maintain a distance of 200 meters over individuals.
- A maximum of five boats are allowed with a group of whales always keeping the engine in neutral.
- Females should not be followed with their calves.
- It must be operated at low speed and never exceed 10 km or 18 km / h
Source: uniminuto radio