Whales mov­ing in for win­ter

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

IT’S of­fi­cial – the first hump­back whales of the 2015 sea­son are here with at least one con­firmed sight­ing as early as Satur­day, May 23.

Der­went Hunter skip­per Simon Ward said he was half­way across the Whit­sun­day Pas­sage when a whale sur­faced about 20m off the star­board bow.

“All of the crew saw it and about half the pas­sen­gers – they were pretty stoked and so was I to be hon­est,” he said.

Mr Ward has been a Whit­sun­day skip­per for about 16 years and was for­merly in­volved in hump­back whale re­search in Her­vey Bay.

“So I learnt how to spot a hump­back,” he laughed.

In his ex­pe­ri­ence he be­lieves the num­bers of mi­grat­ing whales are in­creas­ing.

“And I think the sea­son’s go­ing for longer,” he said.

Boat­ies are re­minded to keep at least 100m away from whales in the marine park and 300m from whales in the Whit­sun­day Whale Pro­tec­tion Area.

Sight­ings can be re­ported to eye­on­thereef@gbrmpa.gov.au.

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