South Australia’s whale watching season has officially started with a number of whales spotted off the coast around the state.
Between May and October each year whales can be found in large numbers along Far West Coast Marine Park at Head of Bight, Encounter Marine Park at Victor Harbor as well as off the coast along the Eyre Peninsula.
Department for Environment and Water (DEW) spokesperson Chris Thomas said the annual migration of whales to South Australian waters occurs during the cooler months, which is when they mate, give birth and nurse their young.
“Most South Australian whale sightings are southern right whales and sometimes humpback whales,” Mr Thomas said.
“Whale-watching is a fantastic nature-based experience, about 400,000 people take part in this activity each year in SA.
“You can enjoy watching these magnificent whales breaching, body-rolling and tail-lobbing from on-shore viewing platforms, or by booking a boat tour with a private tour operator.”
For whale-watching tips read the department’s Good Living blog.
To help protect the whales in South Australian waters there are approach limits in place. Generally vessels must not approach closer than 100m, but where whale calves are present and in more sensitive areas in Encounter Bay and Head of Bight, additional restrictions apply. Drone operators must not fly their drone within 300m of a whale. Expiation fees of $315 apply if people do not adhere to these limits.