It’s one of the signs that summer is on its way, as whale watching tour companies start up again.

Tours groups leaving from Cowichan Bay and other coastal areas of Vancouver Island are looking to catch a glimpse of the 77 resident killer whales remaining in the Salish Sea and guides have to abide by new federal regulations.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced that the minimum ‘acceptable’ distance between boats and whales is now two hundred metres and Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance, Christianne Wilhelmsen says reducing the noise these mammals have to deal with is important.

This legislation matches the 200-metre minimum set out in Washington State, meaning that the regulations will be the same if Canadian tours move into American waters to view the three resident killer whale pods.

Wilhelmsen says while these changes will be beneficial for the magnificent mammals, the Trudeau Government needs to do more.

Other measures that need to be taken include protecting salmon stocks from commercial fishing companies by implementing fish farm enclosures along with speed reduction regulations for big ships and recreational boats.