Whales are currently migrating through Tasmanian waters, travelling to their calving and socialisation areas before returning to southern feeding grounds from mid-August to November.
Dr Kris Carlyon from the Marine Conservation Program (MCP) said this year's sightings of both Southern Right and Humpback Whales have started. “This year's season started in late May and there has been a steady increase in sightings. We encourage members of the public to report whale sightings to our hotline 0427 942 537 (0427WHALES)." Dr Carlyon said.
He said it is important to remember that whale watching guidelines are in place for Tasmanian waters. “The guidelines provide a framework that allows people to observe and interact with whales in a way that does not cause harm to the animals. It's vital that safety comes first when observing these mammals," Dr Carlyon said.
“If a whale approaches a vessel, the advice is to slow down gradually and move away. It is critical that people do not follow behind, wait in front, or try to touch or feed whales as this can disrupt their natural behaviours and migration."
Swimmers and divers are advised to keep a safe distance from whales and should not approach closer than 30 meters. Vessel operators should avoid approaching closer than 100 meters from whales.
For more information on the whale watching guidelines visit the NRE Tas website: https://www.nre.tas.gov.au/wd-viewing