Country Specific Practices: Check out local whale watching guidelines or regulations as they may vary from island to island.

Whale Watch Best Practices To Consider:

NOAA Video: Watch Out for Spouts

NOAA Web Site

Watching Whales, Dolphins and Seals
in the Northeast

General Principles for Whalewatching

Agreed general principles to minimize the risks of adverse impacts of whalewatching on cetaceans.


Check out the Photo Tips below before submitting photographs.

Size: zoom in and frame the fluke.

Photographing humpback whales can be a challenge! Getting the right shot of the underside of the tail fluke requires a few simple considerations.

The ideal photograph of a humpback whale would be taken as the animal is headed away from you at the moment when the whale has lifted its fluke, and you can see the full shape of the fluke in your viewfinder.


Maneuvers to Avoid.  Remember to always adhere to safe whale watch practices. Do not approach whales closer than 300 feet (92 meters).


Mothers and calves are particularly vulnerable to boat interaction.  Vessels should not approach whales head on, surround whales, or separate mothers and calves or other whales traveling together.


Do Not Disturb! Whale watching may not seem intrusive, but it can actually disrupt whale feeding, nursing, mating and migrating behavior, and can cause unintended injuries to both whale and whale watcher.


Whale Watch Best Practices To Consider:


Check out the Photo Tips below before submitting photographs.

Download the Photo Tips.pdf


Clarity: keep the fluke in focus.

Exposure: avoid glare.

Angle: for fluke shots, take a few shots as the whale
dives and save the best for submission.

Angle: for dorsal fin shots, stay parallel for the right and left sides.

left side

right side

Photos: Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC)