Posted by: The ocean update | June 23, 2015

Whale census finds numbers of Humpbacks spotted off Cape Byron are much lower than last year (Australia)

Humpback whale off Cape Byron, NSW

Humpback whale off Cape Byron, NSW

June 23rd, 2015. The co-ordinator of a NSW North Coast whale census says numbers were down by as much as 50 per cent compared with last year.

Ronny Ling, from the group known as ORRCA, said only 52 humpbacks were spotted from the mainland’s most easterly point at Cape Byron on Sunday.

He said warm currents may have driven the whales further out to sea (Ed Sibylline : or maybe something worst).

Mr Ling said that could be bad news for areas that traditionally offer good land-based whale-watching opportunities.

“The beauty of land-based whale watching is the fact that you’re observing these animals with no influence from man on them and you’re watching pure behaviour,” he said.

“Land-based whale behaviour is probably the purest of the sciences there, and it is a concern the fact that we’re not seeing as many this year.”

Mr Ling said land-based whale watchers along the north coast may be disappointed this year.

“Because Cape Byron is the most easterly point of NSW [and the Australian mainland] I would have expected up around the 100,” he said.

“It’s really unfortunately that we’ve found that not just with Cape Byron but places like Port Macquarie, Cape Solander, Coffs Harbour, the Central Coast, Sydney itself, we’ve noticed the animal numbers are really down low.”

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