A HUMAN humpback slowly materialised on Shoal Bay Beach on Sunday as more than 950 locals and tourists gathered to celebrate the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean. For the second straight year, the human whale made for a spectacular sight from the skies on a reasonably clear day in Port Stephens.
Human whale co-ordinator Frank Future said an amalgamation of whale watching cruise operators gathered the masses to acknowledge the International Court of Justice’s ruling to ban the Japanese government from whaling in the Antarctic. Last year, more than 600 people gathered on the beach to form a shape of a Humpback Whale to acknowledge 40 years since whales were last hunted in Australia. The humpback population in waters off the east coast of Australia had boomed ever since, a rare conservation success story and something that should be celebrated.
It was a celebration of the fact that we still have whales, it’ one of the few success stories we can celebrate. Now there are nearly 20,000, which is about a 10 per cent annual increase.
The ‘‘peak run’’ of north migrating whales is approaching, with hundreds expected to be spotted near the coast in the coming weeks, and over the months of June & July.
The human whale was organised by Port Stephens Tourism and whale watching cruise companies Imagine, Moonshadow and Tamboi Queen.
We work together to promote whale watching, it’s important to Port Stephens tourism and injects more than $10 million to the port every winter
We plan to create a human whale every year in winter as the whale watching season begins.