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Watch whales safely at Ngari Capes Marine Park

A whale breaches as a boat strays too close
A whale breaches as a boat strays too close DPaW

With the whale watching season in full swing, boaters are being reminded to maintain a safe distance from these mighty creatures as they migrate south.

Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) officer Pia Courtis said the Ngari Capes Marine Park between Busselton and Augusta was a prime venue to spot humpback and southern right whales and calves returning from the State’s far north to feeding areas in Antarctic waters.

“In southern Western Australia this is a fantastic time of year to enjoy whale watching and we just ask that people follow some simple guidelines when they’re out on the water,” Ms Courtis said.

“The most important thing is not to approach within 100m of a whale – this is for the safety of people onboard and for the animal.

“If a whale approaches your vessel, either place your motor in neutral or move slowly away from the animal, at a speed of less than five knots.

“Those in smaller boats or on surfboards or kayaks could put themselves at risk if they stray too close.

“Whales are large, powerful creatures and they may react violently if feeling threatened.”

Ms Courtis said boaters should leave the area if a whale exhibits behaviours such as diving for prolonged periods or swimming evasively. “This means that the animal may be distressed or disturbed,” she said.

Ms Courtis said there were a number of excellent land-based locations to view the whale migration including Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Point Piquet.

For more information about whales and a whale watching brochure visit

https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/marine/marine-wildlife/64-whales-and-dolphins.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

 

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE