Bonaire, Marine Biology, Dolphins and Whales of Bonaire, Guidelines and Code of Conduct, February 14, 2012

On the 14th of February, a pod of Dolphins is sighted in the trench between Klein Bonaire and Bonaire, boats are rushing toward the mammals. A day earlier, on the 13th, a pod of Whales was sighted in the same area.

Even if Dolphin or Whale watching is sporadical and boat traffic isn’t that big, a code of conduct needs to be introduced as soon as possible to prevent a bigger stress on the cetacean and mammal population crossing the waters of Bonaire.

Here are some guidelines.

1/ For the Boat Pilot

Never cross the pass of a pod and respect a minimum distance of 100 meters. Slow the engine immediatly. Follow the pod at slow speed using a parallel route in order to let the pod free to go forward. Let them come to you if the dolphins are willing to. Let the whales breathe freely, don’t force them to dive in precipitation.

2/ For the Guests

Noise is stressful to cetaceans and marine mammals. Please don’t shout and don’t clap during the sighting. Use a long lens or a zoom for better pictures. Your pictures are needed and your help is welcome. Fell free to report to your Dive Center for sighting and identification.

3/ For the other Boats

Always let the pod choose alone his route, don’t cut into the group of Dolphins or Whales, don’t race with the other boats. Slow the engine immediatly. Stay at a minimum of 100 meters from the pod, observe a safety distance with the other boats. No horn, no shouts, no noise.

No swimming without the surveillance of an approved (BNMP) guide.

©2012 Olivier Douvry/GlobeDivers

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©2014 Olivier Douvry/GlobeDivers
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