One of the recent whale sightings on the Surf Coast

Drone noise can distress whales

August 8, 2019 BY

THE Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is warning people to take note of wildlife laws after several reports of illegal drone activity near whales recently.

Whales have been sighted near Lorne in the past few weeks, but DELWP is concerned that onlookers using drones to get photos are flying too close to the whales.

The sound of drones may prove distressing to the creatures.

As part of the 2009 Wildlife Marine Mammals Regulations, aircraft, including drones, are not permitted to fly within 500 vertical metres or within a 500-metre radius of whales.

The fine for breaking the regulations can be as much as $3,304.

DELWP has sent forest and wildlife officers to patrol the coastline and ensure people are adhering to these regulations.

They also encourage anyone who observes drones flying close to whales to document details of the incident and to take photographs, if possible.

Report the activity to Barwon South West Forest and Wildlife Officers via the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186.