Lifestyle

Watch your distance

Queensland has introduced further restrictions to vessels approaching whales to protect “special interest” whales such as Migaloo from interference.
Queensland has introduced further restrictions to vessels approaching whales to protect “special interest” whales such as Migaloo from interference.

ON THE back of a busy season for Gold Coast and Tweed whale watchers, Queensland Environment Minister Vicky Darling has announced further protections for special interest whales.

The all-white humpback Migaloo is one of the special whales that will now have extra protection until December 31, 2011.

Bringing a boat or jet ski closer than 500 metres or an aircraft closer than 2000 feet to a special interest whale without written permission now brings fines up to $16,500.

Coolangatta Whale Watcher owner Carol Hunt is pleased these restrictions are in place.

“You’ve got to have these rules and regulations or else everyone will jump on top of them,” Ms Hunt said.

“You actually get the best of whales when you stand off and wait.

“Once they get used to you, they quite often come right over.”

This whale season is one of the biggest in years, with about 14,000 whales coming up the east coast – a 10% increase on last year.

“While this increase is good news for conservation and for tourism, it also means encounters with whales are more likely,” Ms Hunt said.

Ms Darling said although there would be more whale encounters, the Queensland Government was ensuring they would be incident free.

“Any skipper who gets too close to a whale puts themselves, their passengers and the whale at risk, and also risks facing a fine,” she said

The special interest status applies to whales with 90% or more white coloration.

For all other whales, the standard distance is 100m for a boat. The maximum penalty for intentionally moving closer is $12,000, with on-the-spot fines ranging from $300 to $500.

Topics:  humpback whale, whale watching



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

VIDEO: Greens’ $100m pledge for Tweed Hospital

Greens' leader Richard Di Natale with Richmond candidate Dawn Walker.

Tweed Hospital funding if Walker elected

Murwillumbah Cup ready to explode on Sunday

Murwillumbah Cup action kicks off on Sunday

2016 Murwillumbah Cup arrives.

Latest deals and offers

Greens' announcement 3

Richmond candidate Dawn Walker announces $100m for Tweed Hospital, if elected

Greens' announcement - Dawn Walker

Greens' candidate Dawn Walker talks about Tweed Hospital

Greens' announcement 2

Richmond candidate Dawn Walker speaks about the Tweed Hospital.

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.

Iconic North Coast hotel could sell for $80 million

ON THE MARKET: The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay.

Million-dollar views, good income, beer - what more could you want?