Swimming with whales

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Sun Dec 17 2000 - 12:07:14 EST

Yes it is illegal to swim with whales unless it is at a permitted
institution like the Dolphin Research Center in Florida or if
organizations like mine (Ocean Alliance) have special permits from
the National Marine Fisheries Service and Fish and & Wildlife to
conduct research on whales in the water. In most other countries you
must also have a permit to be near whales in the water. I sometimes
help with whale rescues but we call them strandings because on most
cases the whales, especially larger whales, are dead. We use these
occurrences to collect samples and study the anatomy of the whale.
The people that work at whale strandings also must be permitted as it
can be dangerous dealing with such a large animal.
Good luck on your project!

>Hi Kim, So is it true that it's illegal to swim with whales, say the
>humpbacks that migrate from Stellwagen Bank down to Florida and the
>Gulf, even if you are part of a research team, say researching how
>many breaths a whale takes in a minute, or how long they can stay
>under water. That kind of thing. Can anyone swim with whales? Have
>you ever participated in a whale rescue? or know anyone that has? I
>would really like to interview them if you do. Thanks again for
>trying to help.

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Senior Director
Ocean Alliance/Whale Conservation Institute
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  01773
781.259.0423 or fax 259.0288

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