The International Whaling Commission (IWC) hosted a workshop on commercial whalewatching this weekend in Brisbane. In a break with tradition, the IWC jointly funded with the Australian government the workshop with operators from over 20 countries attending to primarily help develop an online handbook to facilitate companies who might wish to start a commercial whale watching business. This weighty organisation of 89 member countries was formed in 1946 to manage the worlds whale stocks , primarily for the development of the whaling industries of the world. This mandate is now largely considered well out of step by most developed countries such as Audtralia who have swapped the killing of whales for a newer and more sustainable industry, whalewatching.
Worth $300 million to Australia’s coastal tourism industry, the IWC reported at the conference that whale watching is now worth more than $2.2 Billion world wide and is conducted in more than 100 countries, states and territories. Compared to the possible $300 million raised by the 3 main whaling countries which remain, Norway, Iceland and Japan. It is widely believed that Japan has encouraged a large number countries to join the IWC as members by offering foreign aid assistance in return for aligning their vote on the sensitive whaling issue. Australia is taking Japan to the international court in June and July testing the legitimacy of the “scientific” nature of their whaling operations. The current US chair of the IWC Ryan Wulff is a very progressive man who is keen to develop whalewatching around the world as the main global industry and a legitimate alternative to the lure of a return to whaling as many of the worlds whale stocks have recovered almost to the level of stocks after WW2. A real concern by veteran whale scientists such as Dave Paton of blue planet marine and whale watch operators around the coast is that the moratorium on whaling in place since 1982 will lose traction at the next IWC meeting in South Korea next year marking a return to whaling.
Commercial whale watch operator Frank Future of Imagine Cruises who attended the IWC conference representing Port Stephens operators reported that all the attendees shared this concern. “No one really knows how whales would respond to boat approach if whaling on this species recommenced. It has been over 35 years since Humpback whales have been in the harpoon sites in the southern hemisphere and the benign passage of over 17000 whales expected this year might not be so predictable.” Most whales we see today have been born since the end of whaling in Australia in 1973 when only a few hundred whales were left.
Already the first few pods have been sighted moving north along both the east and west coasts with the official start of the season in Port Stephens on 29th May.
Honoured as the ‘Top Performing Attraction in Nelson Bay’ as Reviewed by Travellers on the World’s Largest Travel Site- We would like to take this time to thank our customers for helping us achieve this award.
The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
Join Us to Officially Launch the ‘2013 Port Stephens Whale Watching Season on Wednesday 29th May 2013’ – HALF PRICE SPECIAL*
Enjoy a 3hour cruise sailing with the Humpback Whales combined with Dolphin watch whilst enjoying an offshore Island Cruise giving you a chance to see Australian Fur Seals, Marine Birds and Fairy Penguins, and enjoy Free Morning Tea on board.
Imagine is a 52 foot oceanic sailing catamaran with 360degree one level extremely stable walk around deck- it is the perfect boat for Whale Watching. With 13,000 Humpback Whales to swim past Port Stephens on their yearly migration trips, Imagine Cruise’s Nelson Bay Whale Watch Advanced Ecotourism Certified Cruise gives you the chance to sail with these magnificent creatures it truly is an experience that you will remember forever! Your whale watching cruise is skippered by experts in whale watching dedicated to the conservation of these gentle giants.
Cost… HALF PRICE yes that’s right… Adults are just $30 for a 3hour cruise, Whale Guarantee or Free Return Trip
LOCATION: Dock ‘C’ d’Albora Marina – Nelson Bay – New South Wales
TIME: Boarding 9.45am for a 10.00am departure
Imagine suggests you bring Warm Layered Clothing, enclosed flat shoes, and don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars to make the most of this truly amazing experience.
Bookings essential, Please ring the Office on 4984 9000
* Terms & Conditions apply
As Autumn starts to make way for the winter months, we will be taking two weeks off (8th-21st May 2013) to get Imagine ‘ship shape’ before the start of the Port Stephens Whale Season. Whale Watching in NSW is awesome and Nelson Bay offers the best viewing…… so how good is it?…….
Check out the video!
Dolphin Watch: Excellent Dolphins this week on the calm waters of Port Stephens , Lots af great interactions this week with some great pods of our Resident Bottlenose Dolphins, There is lots of sunshine predicted for the last week of Imagine’s summer program which will be perfect for Sailing with the Dolphins or having fun in the Boomnet, Jetnet and Bownet.
Imagine last Dolphin Watch will be running on the 7th of May, so dont miss out book on one of our three daily trips this week, to enjoy the last of our summer/autumn program.
The last Seafood Dinner Cruise for the season will be Tuesday May 7th so be sure not to miss out!
Whale Watching: The boat will be out of the water for maintainence during May from the 8th to until the 20th, with our first whale watch beginning on the 21st of May when the Whale Watching season for Port Stephens starts.
There will be over 14,000 Humpback Whales migrating past Port Stephens and the East Coast of Australia this year. Imagine will be operating two Whale Watch Cruises daily at 10:30am – 1:30pm and 2:00pm – 5:00pm The cost is $60 per Adult, $25 per Child and $145 per Family!