Whale Watching in Perth each year is very exciting as the Humpback Mother’s are returning with their calves from the North of the State. Many have come from Camden Sound, high up in the Kimberly’s where they have given birth to their new born calves. After many weeks of feeding and nurturing we start to see the calves getting taught by Mum the characteristics and behaviours they are going to need to survive and thrive in the Western Australian and Antarctica Oceans. These behaviours we call the ‘Language of the Whales’. When they are in the metropolitan waters all vessel operators must be aware of the rules to view these Dinosaurs of the Deep and pay the respect such wondrous creatures deserve. Please if you are on the water do not approach from 60 degrees tail or head of the Whales and not within 150 mtrs. Your driving should not exceed 5 knots however if the Whales approach you, take your vessel out of gear and enjoy the interaction, you will never forget the experience. Please do not make aggressive gear changes or chase or herd the Whale’s. Should they be tail slapping or breaching close to you it is a clear sign that you are too close and to back off, remember these are Mother’s with calves and they need to be respected.
Our Father has spent many years in the water as a pearl diver and the main thing he learn’t underwater was survival and how closely linked the efficiency of energy is related to that very survival. Please consider a Mother Humpback Whale has travelled approx 13,000 klm’s, given birth to her calf, nurtured them and fed them through half of that journey and then protected and taught them the behaviours they need to survive…. all of this generally without eating for 6 months! Should we as humans go into their environment and then harass or cause them to expel unnecessary energies, it can be the difference between survival or not for the calf or even the Mother. Whale Watching in Perth is a wonderful opportunity to ID new born’s and to see the maternal behaviours unfold before your very eyes but do please show the respect and report any unruly behaviour to DPAW (take the vessel’s number).
Above is a diagram to show where is suitable and where is no go zones if you see Whales in the water around you. Please do not approach closely at speed and try to create a gentle footprint whereby you actually at times will become part of the Pod. This can be determined if they carry on the behaviours when first sighted, they are oblivious to you and have no need to change their attitude, this is the true Whale Watch where you can watch them and they can watch you without hesitation. Whales are very inquisitive creatures and if you treat them correctly they will reward you 1,000 fold however when they are in Perth waters returning back to Antarctica with calves please be respectful.