About this document
The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2017 describe how people can observe and interact with whales and dolphins in a way that ensures animals are not harmed or disturbed.
Whales and dolphins may be disturbed by the presence of people, whether they are on the land, in a boat or aircraft as well as activities such as swimming and diving, feeding, touching, and making noise. The potential problems from disturbance may include disruption of behaviour, displacement from important habitat areas, and reduced breeding success.
These Guidelines were developed in consultation with the state and territory governments, scientists, industry representatives and non-government organisations. They provide a consistent national policy for the management of whale and dolphin watching. They build upon and replace the Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005.
The guidelines provide advice for all governments in the development, updating and implementation of laws regulating whale and dolphin watching.