Jet skiers reminded to keep distance from whales and dolphins

4 October 2019

As the temperature begins to rise and holiday-makers begin arriving on the south coast, Booderee National Park, in collaboration with Australian Jet Ski Association, is reminding water craft users to be safe in Jervis Bay waters.

While the use of jet skis is not permitted in Booderee National Park they are a popular way to enjoy the ocean in other parts of Jervis Bay. But as whale mothers return to the Antarctic with their calves its important jet-ski operators stay safe, and keep their distance from the gentle giants.

Personal water craft including jet skis are not permitted in Booderee National Park waters and there are signs at boat ramps around Jervis Bay and at Murrays Boat Ramp in Booderee National Park to remind water craft users of these and other rules and restrictions.

Booderee National Park Operations Manager Matt Hudson said jet skiers mostly do the right thing but there were a few who don’t know the rules, stress marine species and disturb other visitors.

“You need to know the rules when operating a vessel on the water, just as you need to know the rules when driving a vehicle on the road,” Mr Hudson said.

“There are signs up at boat ramps for jet skiers and other boat users in Booderee National Park and around Jervis Bay, while there are maps and websites that provide advice and set out the rules for marine users.”

Australian Jet Ski Association President Mandy Brown said they fully support the rules and regulations that ensure the safety of people and protection of marine life in Jervis Bay and in Booderee National Park waters.

“Jervis Bay is a unique area with specific rules to help guide jet-ski operators, tourism operators and other users of this area,” Ms Brown said. “We encourage all jet skiers to observe the regulations. If you’re operating a jet ski you must keep your distance from marine mammals and be extremely aware of not disrupting whales migrating with their calves at this time of year.”

There are many highly protected areas in Jervis Bay and visitors are reminded that marine mammals are protected under Commonwealth legislation. This means that vessels are not allowed to approach closer than 300 metres to any whale or dolphin, or within 10 metres of seals.

Significant penalties of more than $1,000 can apply to individuals who do not abide by the rules and regulations.

The rules for vessels interacting with marine mammals can be found on the Department of the Environment and Energy website here and at the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment here.

Download map of Jervis Bay Marine Park Zoning map (pdf)