Whale watch operators say good numbers early in the season

HERVEY Bay whale watching operators are optimistic about this year's season with many reporting large numbers of whales already sighted.

With the peak season starting in August, Spirit of Hervey Bay owner Bobbie Hayter said it was positive to be seeing so many this early in the season.

"The response on the weekend was great, with up to seven whales on Saturday and close to 12 on Sunday," she said.

"This truly is a great start to the season although we are continuing to see the numbers increase by 10-12% each year meaning we can see nearly 200 whales during the peak season."

Blue Dolphin Marine Tours owner Jodie Lynch echoed Bobbie's attitude, saying it was great to be able to get started so early.

"It is always the unknown when it comes to whales, which makes it interesting for our guests, but it is nice to know that they are there and that we are having good numbers early in the season.

"The whales we spotted on the weekend were surprisingly down the southern end of the bay but what interested us the most was a young whale that showed off its curled tail flukes and also something that we have never seen before, a whale with a large growth on its side."

Freedom Whale Watch and Charters Sue Reid said she was pleased the weather turned out well on Saturday which made for an amazing day for visitors.

"We were pleased to see three pods of whales quite early in the day," she said.

Whale watching facts

  • Brian Perry started one of Australia's first whale watching tours, Hervey Bay Whale Watch, in 1987 after spotting whales while out on his fishing charter boat
  • The local whale watching season runs from late July to November
  • The majority of whales seen in the area are humpbacks as they follow the eastern coastline, although a southern right whale that is thought to have been adopted by a humpback has been seen over the years
  • There are six boats with a carrying capacity of 450 passengers between them servicing Hervey Bay

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