From the editor’s desk
THE Whitsundays has been in the national spotlight this week – this time because of our visiting whales.
The amazing footage captured by tour guides and guests on the water with Whitsunday Jetski Tours last week has captivated a nation it would seem.
We’ve made it to the pages of various media outlets’ print and online products and to millions of people’s television screens thanks to Channel 7’s Sunrise program and Sky News.
What’s interesting about this is that the Whitsundays isn’t necessarily known for whales.
We’re not a “Hervey Bay” with a plethora of dedicated whale watching operations although a couple have started to spring up.
What makes it more difficult for our tourist operators to ‘cash in’ on our famous friends are the rules in our Whitsunday Whale Protection Area.
Inside this zone vessels must not approach within 300 metres of a whale.
Outside the zone a 100-metre distance applies.
This is a good thing for obvious reasons – those being protection of the whales, who are here to breed and give birth.
And also for our own protection – I mean who wants to spook a multi-metre mumma feeling protective of her calf.
But the beauty of what happened to the group with Whitsunday Jetski Tours last week is that there’s nothing to stop the whales from coming to you.
By law, if you’re out on the water, you’ve got to respect the distances, sit back and watch from afar, but if these wonderful creatures want to have a closer look at you they can come right over – and our front cover this week is proof of the amazing results.
Sharon Smallwood Editor