Watch Your Whales From the Shore

Most of this post may piss some people off. I can live with that. 🙂

So yes, the big storm didn’t come close, but there will be more opportunities this year. We have had other visitors. Lots of tourists restricted to the Atlantic Bubble are finding their way here.

One of the most startling arrivals was a giant yacht which appeared offshore yesterday … it’s so big it has its own supply ship sailing behind, complete with heli-pad.

A truly welcome sight has been the whales. There weren’t many here last year and, while there are only a few more this summer, the numbers are improving. This is very good news for the fishery which relies on these beauties to push the herring into the coves. Money on these islands is in short supply and the fish support those who catch them, pump them, transport them, and use them for bait and food products.

I don’t blame them for staying away, after all who can expect them to keep returning to a hostile environment. Being circled and harassed by 15 to 20 whale “watcher” boats means they can’t feed, tend their young, or even navigate safely. This hurts the whales and the fishery.

And no, I’m not exaggerating the number of boats. We’ve seen upwards of 20 some days.

There are rules, of course, designed to protect the whales but rules require enforcement. Enforcement would require Coast Guard and Fisheries boats in these waters. I guess they’re busy somewhere else.

One boat captain, who knows the rules, said they have to get right over the whales so the tourists can get good photos. Somehow that’s no comfort for the guy on Deer Island who had to dismantle his new weir last night when the flotilla chased a whale inside his twine.

Half the boats are from Maine, sitting right offshore. They like to claim they are in International waters. They’re not but their arrogant insistence is supposed to gaslight the rest of us. If one of our boats sailed into their coves for the same purpose their Coast Guard would have our crew up on charges.

The rest of the boats, with a couple of exceptions, are from the mainland. One of their captains likes to say that they try to force the whales south so they can’t be seen from the shore, making the “watching” boats necessary.

Tempers are rising these days and, I think, with good reason. Fishermen are getting new and more complicated regulations every month. They have to comply or they lose their livelihood. The notion that they can’t catch fish because some jackasses want to make money literally on the backs of whales and do so without any consequences is intolerable.

Personally, I think the regulations for these tourist carriers have to be enforced. If not, then ban so-called whale watching enterprises. I say so-called because there’s no way they’re sitting back and just watching. Harassment shouldn’t be considered a legal industry.


  1. Ughhhhhh it never occurred to me how annoying those boats must be for the poor whales. Rules & regulations aren’t being enforced or else seem to be causing their own set of problems so, I vote to end the tourist whale watching industry.

    I went on a whale watching boat in Malibu but they seemed to have good rules & regulations in place. I remember we went out a ways and then the boat pretty much just sat still or moved to another location slowly and quietly and the guy explained how far we had to remain from the whales if any happened to swim by. And some did!!! It was very exciting and of course everyone WANTED to get close to them. I remember our guide moved the boat AWAY from the whales when THEY got too close to us. 🙂

    But yah, I vote to stop harassing whales and stop harassing fishermen.

    Liked by 1 person

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