Whale sea­son is here

Hump­back mi­gra­tion un­der way

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

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.

Photo: Rachel Ver­coe

Hump­back whales are be­ing sighted dur­ing their an­nual north­ern mi­gra­tion.

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