Whale time in Whitsunday waters

MIGRATING humpback whales will start to make their way into our waters after leaving the southern oceans to court, mate, give birth and rear their young.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has reminded vessel operators to be aware of whales while on the water and know the correct approach distances.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s director of ecosystem, conservation and sustainable use Mark Read said it was important to keep a good distance for both the safety of whales and on-lookers.

Dr Read said whales could be social animals and might voluntarily approach boats or people in the water, but it was important not to approach them.

Vessels must stay at least 100m away from whales in the Marine Park and 300 metres away in the Whitsunday Whale Protection Area.

Jet skis must stay at least 300 metres away from whales throughout the Marine Park.

Whales can be seen in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from May until September each year.

"The best whale watching experience is when whales are given the space to exhibit normal behaviours without interference from people," Dr Reid said.

If a whale approaches close to your vessel, take all precautions to avoid a collision, either slow down and steer away from the animal, or place the engines in neutral and let the animal pass.

 

If a whale approaches close to your vessel, take all precautions to avoid a collision, either slow down and steer away from the animal, or place the engines in neutral and let the animal pass.


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