Lo­cal minkes to star on TV

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

DWARF minke whales may have man­aged to re­main un­der the radar for cen­turies, but their time in the spot­light is fi­nally com­ing, and that could be good for lo­cal tourism.

The Chan­nel pro­gram will broad­cast a seg­ment this week­end on these play­ful but rel­a­tively un­known ma­rine crit­ters frol­ick­ing off Port Dou­glas re­cently.

Next year, the re­gion will get in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure when the BBC’s doc­u­men­tary

Seven

hits small screens around the world.

Both seg­ments were filmed in the wa­ters of the north­ern Great Bar­rier Reef.

John Rum­ney, one of the pi­o­neers of the “swim with minkes” pro­gram, says the ex­po­sure will bring more peo­ple to the reef to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of minkes.

“The lo­cals have known about minkes for years, but now all of Aus­tralia is go­ing to know,” Mr Rum­ney said.

“Once the BBC doc­u­men­tary comes out, the whole world will know what we have.”

Mr Rum­ney said this year’s minke sea­son had been a good one.

“The wa­ter was very clear this year, so it made for great vi­sion,” he said.

“It was fan­tas­tic be­ing able to show the Chan­nel Seven team the reef and the minkes.

“They’ve trav­elled the world and were deeply moved by the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The cam­era­man said it was a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and I’m sure that will come through.”

The dwarf minke whale seg­ment will be screened this Sun­day, Au­gust 29, from 6.30pm.

Mr Rum­ney, who runs “minke ex­cur­sions” for two months ev­ery year, is plan­ning an­other “lo­cals’ trip” next year. For more in­for­ma­tion, you can check the web­site at www.marineencounters. com.au.

Magic moment: The tele­vi­sion crew on lo­ca­tion off Port Dou­glas

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