Humpbacks and Highrises Update – Mums and bubs overtaking the Gold Coast bay
We are now coming towards the end of the whale season with hundreds of whales still migrating south. It is an amazing time of the season, with many mother-calf pairs coming close to shore.
Only a few days ago we recorded lots of active behaviour from a humpback whale calf, doing over 100 head slaps/breaches during a two hour surface. It was wrapped up by the mother with one big breach, almost to say “right, that’s enough” and both mother and calf moved on silently.
Next to mother calf pairs we observed a heat run with five whales, at least 30 common dolphins and a hammerhead shark over the past 15 surveys onboard Whales in Paradise. In all 15 pods a calf was present. This further underlines the importance of the Gold Coast bay as a resting area for mother calf pairs.
A lot of the sightings were close to shore, only a few hundred meters to a few kilometres away from the coast. As calves need to have much more surface time they are also more likely to be exposed to boat traffic. The high density of calves present near the seaway suggests that all boat traffic needs to slow down when entering or exiting the Seaway.
Unfortunately the HHR survey team had to witness a female humpback whale being hit by a boat at full speed with the boat getting airborne. It was only luck that the boat missed the calf as it was swimming behind its mother during the incident. Accidents like this can not only be deadly for whales but also for people. Humpbacks and High-Rises urge all boaties to slow down until the whale season ends in the first week of November.
We hope you enjoyed the latest update from HHR, for more information on Humpbacks and High-Rises, or you would like to volunteer, head on over to their website.
And you can also help support their research by donating on their page..