News

White whale Migaloo is on the move

White whale Migaloo off the Gold Coast in 2012. (AAP Image/Supplied by Sea World Whale Watch)
White whale Migaloo off the Gold Coast in 2012. (AAP Image/Supplied by Sea World Whale Watch) SEA WORLD WHALE WATCH

THE well-known white whale Migaloo was spotted off the coast of Sydney this week and is headed our way.

He is part of a 20,000 strong humpback whale cohort on their northerly migration to the Great Barrier Reef to breed.

Each year, the humpback whales pass close by Australia's most easterly point, Byron Bay, where tourists and locals alike have made a traditional of keeping a special eye out for the white wonder.

Suffolk Park whale researcher Wally Franklin said he expected Migaloo to reach Byron Bay within days.

"The wonderful thing about him is he's so wonderfully identifiable and stands out," he said.

"He's one in 20,000 whales because of the fact that he's all white and because he stands out that makes him an incredible ambassador."

The whales will continue migrating north until about mid-August when the first south-bound whales can usually be spotted.

Mr Franklin said it was exciting to receive reports of well-known whales, like Migaloo, returning to the east coast migration each year.

"So many people up and down the coast are involved with individual whales and each year there are an increasing number of reports of well-known individuals," he said.

About 72 councils across the country are now taking part in the Icon Project which aims to create awareness around whale threats by encouraging communities to "adopt" a local whale.

Mr Franklin said he had spent time with Migaloo on three occasions, recording Migaloo's song the last time.

"The songs are fascinating because we know that they change every year and all the whales sing the same song every year," he said.

"One of these days we're going to have to set up a local radio station that does nothing but listens to the songs of the whales as they head north off Byron Bay."

Humpback whale songs recorded from 1992 to 2008 are available online at http://www.songlinesofthewhales.org.

 

At a glance

  • Through the Icon Project, Ballina has adopted the humpback whale Shelly and Byron Bay has adopted Yumbalehla.
  • Because Migaloo is so unique, special rules apply to boats hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Boaties are expected to maintain a perimeter of at least 500m around Migaloo, instead of the usual 100m.

Topics:  migaloo, sydney, whale, white




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Byron serial groper targeting women on morning walks

A number of woman have reported indecent assault along a walking track in Byron Bay.

Police launch investigation after reports of women being assaulted

Lismore hospital paid parking: Rangers will be ready

Lismore Base Hospital

Council rangers will use discretion when it comes to issuing fines

Plant wholesaler celebrates end of 12-year development

Alpine Nurseries owners Peter and Kay Knox at the official opening of their Alstonville business.

Alpine Nurseries in Alstonville hold an offical opening ceremony.

Latest deals and offers

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home

We’ve found 8 rentals available on the Northern Rivers

2/22 Sunnybank Drive, Ballina

It's obvious there is a rental shortage on the Northern Rivers