You might well be aware of the stories which went viral last month regarding the snorkelers who were injured while swimming with humpback whales. Although the events were tragic, perhaps what makes them so unfortunate is the fact that with a little awareness and education towards whale behaviours they may have been avoided altogether.
PhD candidate Chantal Pagel from marine-wildlife.org has just published an article in ‘The Conversation’ which confronts the risks of swimming with pelagic wildlife such as humpback whales, alongside key behavioural characteristics from the animals to watch out for if they do not want you to get too close.
For many people, swimming with cetaceans is high up on their ‘bucket list’. To enjoy memorable experiences such as sharing the water with these creatures you must be aware of the risks and take responsibility for educating yourself on the animal’s behaviours. Failing to do so could not only result in harm to yourself, as the recent cases in Australia have documented, but could also interfere with the whales themselves resulting in increased stress and disturbance.