New Rules For Whale Watching

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Whalewatching avec Agoa en Martinique © Laurent Juhel
Whalewatching avec Agoa en Martinique © Laurent Juhel

Following the enactment of new rules about approaching marine mammals in the waters under French jurisdiction in the Antilles last March 15, the Agoa management committee met in Martinique on November 29 and 30, to create a charter for best practices of whale watching. While the new rules prohibit any person to approach a marine mammal any closer than 300 meters, a dispensation can be provided by Maritime Affairs in the event that the person requesting it has been briefed in the best practices for whale watching, as led by Agoa in its new training sessions, and agrees to sign the corresponding charter. On November 30, the “charter for a responsible practice of commercial activities for the observation of marine mammals in the Agoa sanctuary” was submitted to the management committee, which, after examination of the document, raised several points with which it did not agree. This charter will be put into place but remains open to evolution, after recommendations by the committee. In Saint Martin, Nicolas Maslach is the local correspondent for AGOA, and with his deputy Julien Chalifour, is part of the general administration. Agoa welcomed a new member to its management committee: Michel Vély, president of the association, Megaptera, which has just created a branch in Saint Barthélemy. Megaptera and the Réserve Naturelle have collaborated for the past four years on Megara, the scientific study of the migration of humpback whales in our waters.

All articles from: Journal-31

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