Strict mammal observation guidelines have been created, respected and adhered-to by the whale watching industry: Other whale watching operators worldwide have adapted variations of this model, from which similar whale-friendly observation guidelines have been implemented.
Cooperation between researchers and the whale watching companies has contributed to the successful creation of a mutual and pro-active conservation and rescue effort. On any given day, members of the U.S. based Soundwatch Program and the Canadian Marine Mammal Monitoring (M-3) effort provide information to all boaters with respect to conduct and the effects of vessel traffic in the presence of whales. Leaflets and informational materials related to whale activities and behaviours are handed out to those who may inadvertently have encountered whales in their movement through coastal waters.
This kind of scientific, knowledge-based 're-education' has turned the tide of public misunderstanding into humane consideration and protection of whales from the possibility of critical population decimation, mainly through both prohibition of live capture and close approach by vessels. Rivers and estuaries are being reclaimed, toxic sites are being removed from waterways, and researchers have new evidence that whales have freely returned to former commercial capture areas they intentionally, and consciously, had avoided during the last three decades.