When vision emerged last week of a near miss incident between a boat and three southern right whales off the Bluff, on the south coast of South Australia, many people were shocked.
But according to experienced, commercial fisherman Rod Ness, the incident was emblematic of regular poor behavior by boat operators in the area.
Having worked in the industry for decades, Mr Ness said he regularly observes boat operators doing the wrong thing.
"When you're skippering a boat, you're supposed to be taking notice of everything that's going on," Mr Ness said.
"In this instance, it could have been a canoe or a swimmer that nearly got hit as well.
"Far too many people go blazing around here not taking any notice of what they're doing."
Mr Ness said there needed to be some kind of "shake up" and that having a boat license came with an extent of responsibility that was not always observed.
"It's up to boat owners to be aware that there are whales in the area and a million other things to look out for," Mr Ness said.
"Every patch of water has got hidden things in it and it's up to individuals to not only know what's in it, but to drive accordingly. If visibility is poor, you slow down."
Mr Ness said it was was important boat owners were reminded of their responsibilities and showed consideration for themselves, other boat operators and marine life.
Having recently had one of his boats struck at the Bluff Boat Ramp while unloading passengers from a charter, Mr Ness said it was unfortunate poor behaviour was so common.
"In the past few years alone, I've seen pretty much everything; what you could call stupidity, negligence... and just outright bloody arrogance," Mr Ness said.
"You'll never curb it all, but especially at this time of the year in whale season... you have to drive to the conditions.
"Don't get me wrong, whales are very hard to see and this bloke didn't try and hit one, but he wasn't looking out for them.
"It could have been a canoeist, a kayaker a swimmer or a windsurfer and if they get hit, they're dead."
As a member of the Victor Harbor Boating Committee, Mr Ness said more could be done to improve the behaviour of boaties.
"We need an illuminated sign installed at the boat ramp," he said.
"You can't put a sign up for everything that goes wrong at a boat ramp or in the sea, but a general one saying 'be aware of whales and navigate with extreme caution during this period of the year,' that would help.
"People come down from Adelaide and they think the whales are just at Bashams Beach.
"In essence, I think the whole general public need to be more aware of how intense the problem can be with whales.
"We all hope they are becoming more and more plentiful each year, so that creates a bigger problem doesn't it?
"People have to be conscious of the fact that there could be one in front of them.
"That's the most sensible thing you can try and get through to people - drive as if you are going to come across one.
"I don't think you can go too much further than that, but it's really about ensuring people stand up and take some notice.
"I guarantee there are people out there who saw that vision and said 'what an absolute bloody idiot,' but then went out the next day and did the same thing themselves."