PHOTOS: The Start Bay Whale is still around - code of conduct for interaction

By Sam Acourt in Environment

A Dartmouth resident has taken some photos of the Start Bay Whale, as guidelines for interacting with cetaceans are shared.

The whale, known to some as Doris as she arrived with Storm Doris in February, has been in the area for months, and has had to be rescued by the RNLI and the British Divers Marine Life Rescue from fishing gear twice.

Archie Mesgian, Warfleet, Dartmouth, took some photos of the whale from his boat on Thursday, showing its fluke, or tail.

As the whale is still around, Pete Moore of Forest and Beach, Beeson, noticed that the area is getting busier with boats, so released the Code of Conduct that the Marine Management Organisation recommend by The WiSe Scheme.

Pete posted on Facebook saying: “It appears after this evening’s reported sighting that #startbaywhale is still visiting the bay. Whilst we love having him/her around, the bay is getting busier with boat craft.

“We don’t believe anyone would intentionally want to harm him/her but we have seen a boat getting close. Some people may not know what the code of conduct is. The Marine Management Organisation recommends the Code of Conduct by www.wisescheme.org.”

The WiSe – Wildlife Safe – Scheme’s two main points about interaction with cetaceans – whales, dolphns, porpoises – are: do not approach closer than 100 metres of the animal and do not remain in contact for longer than 15 minutes.

Other points include not to chase them, drive a boat directly at them or try to drive between individuals in a group.

You can find a full version of the WiSe Cetacean Code of Conduct on the website: www.wisescheme.org and clicking on ‘Information’ and ‘Codes of Conduct’ - where you can find information on interaction with cetaceans, dolphins, basking sharks and seals.

Or click on this direct link: http://www.wisescheme.org/codes/4%20WiSe%20Cetacean%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf

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