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As illustrated in the maps on this website, the state of Alaska is one of the world's most scenically and geologically diverse regions. Alaska is A piece of America that offers pure wilderness, adventure ranging from wild to mild, fascinating history and a multi-cultural heritage reflected in art, lifestyles and communities throughout the state. Alaska is the biggest state in the United States and this map will help you navigate through the vast amount of territory there is to explore in Alaska.
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Alaskan Whale Watching Guidelines & Regulations

Federal Laws And Marine Mammal Viewing

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the TAKE of all marine mammal species in U.S. waters. Take means "to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill," and harassment means "any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, sheltering." TAKE includes feeding or attempting to feed a marine mammal in the wild. Some exceptions are made for authorized scientific research and subsistence hunting by Alaska Natives.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the TAKE of species listed as endangered or threatened. The definition of TAKE under the Endangered Species Act adds the terms harm, pursue, shoot, wound, trap and collect to the Marine Mammal Protection Act definition of TAKE.

Guidelines and regulations presented here are designed to prevent wildlife viewers from violating federal law and to reduce the potential for wildlife viewing to inadvertently harm whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions. This information does not replace federal law.

Marine Mammal Viewing … "Code of Conduct"

  1. Remain at least 100 yards from marine mammals.
  2. Time spent observing individual(s) should be limited to 30 minutes.
  3. Whales should not be encircled or trapped between boats, or boats and shore.
  4. If approached by a whale, put the engine in neutral and allow the whale to pass.
Federal law prohibits pursuit of marine mammals.

Aircraft-Based Viewing
  1. Maintain a 1500-foot minimum altitude when viewing marine mammals from the air.
  2. Buzzing, hovering, landing, taking off, and taxiing near marine mammals on land or in the water is likely to harass the animals.
* Federal Laws and Guidelines provided by National Marine Fishery Service