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WDCS Cetacean Watching Code of Conduct

Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent animals, sensitive to disturbance and can be hit by vessels, including their propellers. If they approach the boat or bow-ride, maintain a slow speed and course until clear. Cetaceans should never be chased or harassed in an attempt to make them bow-ride. When watching dolphins, always let them decide what happens.

When watching marine mammals please follow these simple guidelines:

  • KEEP your distance. Never go closer than 100m (200m if another boat is present)

  • NEVER drive head on to, or move between, scatter or separate dolphins. If unsure of their movements, simply stop and put the engine into neutral.

  • PLEASE spend no longer than 15 minutes near the animals

  • SPECIAL care must be taken with mothers and young

  • MAINTAIN a steady direction and slow ‘no wake’ speed

  • NEVER try to swim with cetaceans for your safety and theirs

  • DO NOT dispose of any rubbish, litter or contaminants at sea


British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) is aware of the whale. Please help us by following the above code of conduct if you are lucky enough to encounter any cetacean (Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises).


For more information on the dolphin at Canvey Island please contact Faye Archell on 07919551328.


British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) is proud of the fact that they are an entirely voluntary organisation (registered charity: 803438). BDMLR is the UK’s largest marine animal rescue organisation and has volunteers in all coastal counties of the UK. It an entirely voluntary non-profit charity dedicated to 24-hour marine animal rescue, relying on donations and by running training courses around the country for people that want to become Marine Mammal Medics to purchase essential rescue equipment. For more information, visit the BDMLR website on www.bdmlr.org.uk