Whale season is here
Humpback migration under way
THE time to look toward the Pacific Ocean for migrating humpback whales has arrived.
Whales have been spotted this week off the Central Coast and Port Stephens, meaning Coffs Coast whale watchers should start to see humpbacks breaching and blowing any day now.
On Saturday, three separate sightings were recorded on Facebook by Woolgoolga locals.
Marine observer Ronny Ling said the morning was usually the best time to spot a humpback whale.
“With the rising sun silhouetting the whales’ blow, and the breeze usually at its minimum strength,” Mr Ling said.
“Humpback whales are the most common whale sighted. They travel singularly or in pods, which may range from two to eight.
“These whales are the most acrobatic of the whale species.”
Mr Ling explained the humpback whales’ annual migration sees them travel more than 5000km from their summer feeding grounds near Antarctica to the warmer waters off Queensland and the Coral Sea to give birth and mate.
“Over 25,000 humpback whales are expected to migrate north along the east coast of Australia this year,” he said.
“Their numbers are increasing around 10 per cent each year. However, they are still not as abundant as they were pre-whaling days.”
Some of the best vantage points on the Coffs Coast to see the whales include Woolgoolga headland, Muttonbird Island, Arrawarra headland or on board a whale-watching charter.
The humpback whale migration takes place every year between April and November as they make their way to warmer waters to breed and give birth.
Humpback whales are being sighted during their annual northern migration.