New whale regs described as ‘knee-jerk’

Whale watching operators have hit out at the Western Australian Government’s tough new rules for watching female whales and their calves, describing the decision as a knee-jerk reaction. Boats are currently required to stay 100 metres from whales but Environment Minister Judy Edwards wants to double the distance to 200 metres.

The new rules are being drafted in response to a southern right whale and her calf being disturbed just north of Mindarie Beach in Perth.

Whale and Dolphin Watch Australia president Steve Mitchell says the proposed rules are too restrictive and would severely hamper the state’s whale watching industry.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction and that’s what’s wrong about it,” Mr Mitchell said.

“It’s not a bad decision, it’s like the old old story, a wrong thing done in a wrong way is wrong, a right thing done in a wrong way is wrong.”

Source: ABC Online