More than a dozen kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders surround a spot where T073B had recently surfaced, hoping to catch an up-close glimpse of the transient orca that has been lingering in the water between Royston and Comox this past week. Photo by Tanja Kerr

Vancouver Island boaters continue to encroach upon orca

Boaters, kayakers, paddlers are reminded to stay at least 200 metres away from marine mammals

  • Jul. 29, 2018 3:30 p.m.

While the orca T073B continues to swim in the Comox Marina, boaters are being reminded to stay at least 200 metres from the whale.

According to Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce founding director, boaters have continued to get too close to the orca since it arrived on Monday.

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were out on the water on Saturday to monitor the whale, but Hamilton said this visit may have prompted other boaters to get too close.

“Lifeforce met with DFO on the water [on Saturday] to brief them about both our monitoring of the lone orca behaviour and Lifewatch Boater Education Program,” said Hamilton. “We also had to talk to many boaters about why the research boat was close so they would not copy, as at least one boater did.”

This law is not only for the safety of the orca, but for the boaters’ safety as well. Hamilton said he saw two kayakers nearly get hit by the agitated orca.

He added that being a responsible boater includes knowing about and putting in practice the laws around marine mammals.

Calls to DFO have not yet been returned. Story will be updated as more information becomes available.


jolene.rudisuela@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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