MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) – The state Fish and Wildlife Commission says new regulations for whale watching in Washington waters will take effect in 2021 in an effort to protect endangered orcas.
The Skagit Valley Herald reports according to rules approved last week, from July through September commercial whale watching companies can view orcas during two, two-hour periods daily.
The rules restrict the number of commercial vessels to three within a half-mile of the whales and include penalties for violations.
Officials say regulating the boats is a starting point.
The orcas were federally listed as endangered in 2005.