Migration of Humpback Whales is now underway and a local teacher has spotted 21 Humpbacks in 6 days from Eagles Nest to Phillip Island. Our ever-vigilant surfers sighted a 5-6m Great White Shark at Kilcunda and beat a hasty retreat to shore. John Dickie, skipper of the Kasey Lee cruise boat operating from Cowes reports already sighting over 30 Humpback Whales suggesting this could be a record season.
The western entrance from Seal Rocks to Rhyll seems to be a popular spot at the moment for Humpbacks to play and rest on their long annual journey north from Antarctic waters to Queensland. They calve on their way north, so that their young can avoid the icy Antarctic waters whilst their insulating blubber layers develop, as do the mighty Southern Right Whales.
While some observations have been made by locals over many years, this is the first time they are being collected and recorded in a co-ordinated fashion. Watershed Victoria's initiative was prompted by DSE's assertions in the EES for the Wonthaggi desalination plant, and reiterated by Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, that this coastline "does not provide important feeding, breeding or calving habitat for these species." Southern Right and Humpback whales are listed as endangered and threatened species.
Members of the public
can log further sightings for the remainder of 2010