You are travelling through the Pelagos Sanctuary, an area that is vital to Mediterranean cetaceans, enabling them to feed and reproduce. Marine traffic, which is particularly dense here, causes strikes that prove fatal to large cetaceans and are severe enough to threaten the already vulnerable local populations of fin whales and sperm whales. A ship strike with an animal weighing between 40 and 70 tons can also cause serious physical damage to a boat. Be alert – you are responsible for reducing these accidents.

Here are some practical tips:

  • remain alert at all times while you travel – this will enable you to spot animals from a distance by identifying their breathing or their backs;
  • if you see a large cetacean, slow down to under 13 knots if possible;
  • if you need to steer away in order to avoid crossing the animal’s path, stay alert – other whales could appear nearby;
  • if necessary, use VHF to inform boats coming in the opposite direction that there is an animal in their path.

Boats can also be fitted with the REPCET system, which provides real-time information on the location of whales, helping to reduce the risk of a ship strike event. If you are able to and as soon as possible, report your GPS position and the time of your sighting by calling +33 (0)6 08 77 24 28. After being verified, your sighting will be dispatched through the REPCET system.

Lastly, if you witness a ship strike in the French waters of the Pelagos Sanctuary, you can inform the Pelagos Sanctuary by filling this document ship strike form  and sending it to: