Grey Nomads of the Sea head north

July 3, 2018 by  

As many older Australians head north to the warmer parts of the country for the winter so are the great wanderers of the ocean, the humpback whales, also making their annual migration.

Whale-watching companies have been busy brochure printing and readying their boats for the arrival of both whales and human visitors. Around 22,000 whales are expected to be travelling north to the warmer waters around the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay from July to November to give birth. There are many places along the coastline where the whales can be sighted from the shore but for those wanting a closer encounter with these gentle giants there are numerous companies offering, cruises, kayaking trips and even snorkelling with the whales.

One early visiting humpback became entangled in a net off Coolum Beach early in June. The whale was successfully released from the shark control net by the Marine Animal Release team. The rescue was hampered by a 3.5m shark which was trying to attack the whale. The presence of the great white shark caused the beach to be closed to swimmers temporarily.

Each year many whales, both mothers and calves, find themselves entangled in the shark nets causing conservation groups to call for the removal of the nets which don’t actually prevent the passage of sharks into the ‘protected’ area.