Disturbances from Boat traffic

‘Disruption’, ‘Boat’, ‘Today at 13:00 a boat drifted with the flood current around the NW corner of Great Race and in doing so spooked ~60 California sea lions who were hauled out on the jetty. 20 or 30 of these animals took to the water while the driver diverted his course further away from the island. The disturbance reported here has not been relayed to DFO because in my opinion the vessel operator did nothing out of the ordinary to cause the disturbance and that the frequency of such routine infractions make these incidents difficult for DFO to handle. When I say “nothing out of the ordinary”, what I mean is that the vessel operator ignored the DFO guideline that marine mammal viewing should be done at a minimum of 100m from the animals “including those on the rocks” while also ignoring the PWWA’s recommendation that these guidelines be followed at Race Rocks in particular.I have documented this incident here to inform all users of the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve that the marine mammals here are wild animals and they are NOT universally habituated to human contact and boat traffic. There are complex seasonal and stochastic factors that influence the animals’ behaviour and no level of prior experience in viewing these animals can allow an observer to predict with absolute certainty their responses to our forced contact.While conventional tours in the reserve usually pose no problem, future disturbance infractions wherein vessel operators have chosen to ignore DFO guidelines will be duly recorded and reported.’, ‘Ryan’