Whale migration season for 2021 commences

​​Whales migrate north through Tasmanian waters from about May-June each year as they travel to their calving grounds, before returning to southern feeding grounds from mid-August to November. 

Dr Sheryl Hamilton from DPIPWE's Marine Conservation Program (MCP) said there have been several sightings of both southern right whales and humpback whales so far this season. 

“In Tasmanian waters we are lucky enough to have a huge diversity of whale species, including southern right whales, which are one of Tasmania’s rarest and largest mammals, with adults weighing up to 80 tonnes,” Dr Hamilton said. 

“This year’s season started at the beginning of June and there has been a steady increase in sightings since."

“Monitoring efforts are an important aspect of ongoing conservation efforts for MCP for the species which includes monitoring the population trends, habitat use, and behaviour of whales. 

“Monitoring helps MCP identify factors that influence the whales' species abundance and survival, and where possible develop effective methods to improve their conservation status into the future.”

The whale migration season is a reminder for members of the public to abide by whale watching guidelines and report whale sightings to the Whale Hotline (0417 942537).

The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching apply to commercial operators, as well as members of the public. The rules also apply to aircraft, including drones. 

For more information visit the whale watching guidelines information on the DPIPWE website.

aerial photo of a southern right whale surfacing to blow water

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