Samana Bay whale watching regulations: Whale watching in Samana Bay is strictly regulated by mutual agreement between Samana boat owners, conservation groups and the Dominican Navy. These regulations are as follows:
Where and when: Between mid-January and mid-March, about 3,000 humpback whales migrate from their feeding grounds in the Northern Atlantic to reproduce in the warm, shallow waters off the north coast of the Dominican Republic (the Silver and Navidad Banks) and in Samana Bay. Consequently, the whale watching season is from January 15 to March 15.
- Vessels must stay at least 80m from a whale group which includes a calf, and 50m from adult whales.
- When a vessel reaches the regulated distance, it must put its engine in neutral and wait.
- A vessel may not stay with a whale or a group of whales for more than 30 minutes.
- After passing Cayo Levantado, the velocity of the whale watching vessels should not be more than five knots. If a vessel encounters whales further into the bay (before Cayo Levantado), it must immediately lower its velocity to five knots.
- No vessel will permit passengers to swim with the whales.
Links: Whale Samana (tel: +1 809-538-2494) is the best of the several whale watching tour operators on the Samana Peninsular. During the season they have two tours a day, each lasting between three and four hours.
Other Whale Files: