Whale watching season is here… and what a brilliant time to be a boatie!
As we enter the migrating period, it’s also a timely reminder to be vigilant if you’re heading out on the water.
From June to November, whale encounters are likely as the giant mammals make the journey from Antarctica along the Queensland coast.
Each year multiple incidents are reported of whales getting entangled in anchor ropes and fishing gear as well as being hit (and it’s thought most incidents aren’t even reported). If a strike does occur it can be dangerous to the vessel, those on board, and the animal.
If you are lucky enough to be on the water during this magical time of year, it’s recommended to keep a 300 metre ‘caution zone’ around whales and dolphins. Another tip is to slow down – boats moving at a lower speed (10kts or less) significantly reduce the risk of damage to the animal and the vessel. Whales and dolphins may not see boats as a threat so it’s unsafe to assume they’ll move out of the way on approach and, seeing as they spend most of their time underwater, they are hard to spot.
And of course, while we’re on the topic of wildlife, remember to remain responsible with all your fishing gear. Do not leave wire, nets or anything else behind that may pose a threat to the surrounding marine or bird life.