Two whales snapped from the skies by Air Fraser Island.
Two whales snapped from the skies by Air Fraser Island. Air Fraser Island

Here's the fine you can cop for going near a whale

THEY may be awe-inspiring creatures but boaties have been reminded to refrain from approaching whales this season.

There will be an increased presence of the gentle giants in our waters with more than 33,000 expected to pass through local waters this year.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said it was important for people on jet skis, paddle boards and boats to play it safe and to familiarise themselves with rules surrounding safety when on the water.

"With the school holidays starting, our coastal waters are expected to be busy with people enjoying Queensland's mild winter conditions," she said.

"Our waters will also be hosting thousands of 40-tonne humpback whales heading north and south on their annual migration. "Too often I hear about risky behaviour by people, including reports from the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast this season with paddlers, riders and skippers being seen putting themselves in the path of whales."

Water crafts are not permitted within 300m of whales at any time. The penalty for intentionally moving too close to a whale as of July 1 is an on-the-spot fine of $652.75 or a maximum fine of $15,666. The fine for speciality whales like Migaloo is $21,540.75.


  • Prohibited vessels (jet skis etc): Not within 300m of a whale or a dolphin.
  • A person: Entering the water to approach the whale within 100m or a dolphin within 50m.
  • Aircraft: Not within 300m of a whale or dolphin.