pilotwhalecollision Boat Owner Gets Slapped on the Wrist for Stalking Whales

Photo by: Elizabeth Steele-Collins

A fine of $4,000 was given to a man from Southern Australia, because he invaded the personal space of two whales off the south coast.

For the first time ever in South Australia, Philip Kluske, who resides in the Victor Harbor area, was tried and found guilty, in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court this past Monday, of piloting a vessel within 100 meters of two whales in August of 2009.

Apparently, as the court heard, Mr. Kluske became intrigued with the whales as they approached his boat, and when they swam off he pursued them.

All things considered, Kluske got off light. The maximum penalty that can be given under such circumstances is a $100,000 fine or a two year stint in the pen.

Laurence Haegi, regional conservator of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has explained that the rules in place are just as important for the welfare of the animals, as they are for the safety of the public.

‘Southern right whales are a vulnerable species, protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act,’ Dr Haegi said in a statement after the case. ‘Today, the greatest threats to whales are entanglements and boat strikes resulting from human interference”.

‘The regulations are in place to ensure these magnificent animals are not harassed and stressed, often at a time when they are nurturing young calves.’

There you have it… If a whale swims away… Leave it alone… Whale harassment can land you in some pretty hot water.

P1290672 Boat Owner Gets Slapped on the Wrist for Stalking Whales

Elizabeth Steele-Collins