Entangled whale set free during a busy second week on humpback highway

The migration route, the “humpback highway”, was bustling with activity in its second week of the whale watching season.

Whale watchers took advantage of improved conditions to hit calm seas with Sea World Cruises. Over a dozen individual humpback whales were seen off the shores of the Gold Coast, escorted by pods of up to 30 common dolphins.

The humpback whales have been active over the last week, with many travelling in small pods of 3-4 individuals. The majority of these pods are playful sub-adult whales keeping each other company on their first migrations without their mother.

Seeing these majestic whales breach the water is an unforgettable sight and one that whale watchers off the east coast of Australia are enjoying earlier than usual this season, as a thriving humpback whale population migrates north from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef.

The celebration of World Environment Day this week (5 June) highlighted the importance of individuals doing their part to help protect the environment. The day encourages sustainable consumption and mindful disposing of waste to avoid litter entering our waterways.

Unfortunately, a humpback experienced the repercussions of pollution in our oceans. On Friday, Sea World Foundation was notified of the first whale entanglement of the season. Located two nautical miles off the coast of Coolangatta, the whale in need was a sub-adult and had caught its fluke (tail) in fishing rope and buoys.

The Rescue Team rushed to find the whale and proceeded with the delicate operation of removing the fishing gear. After removing rope and four buoys using specialised cutting knives, the crew stayed nearby to watch the 8-10 metre whale as it recovered from the ordeal before slowly making its way out to sea.

If you see a humpback or other marine animal in need, please do not approach or attempt to help the whale. Instead, call Sea World Foundation’s 24/7 hotline at (07) 5588 2222 and describe the animal’s condition, current location and direction of travel.

Sunny skies and light winds are expected to deliver stunning whale watching conditions over the coming week, with yearling and juvenile whales joined by full-grown adults weighing up to 40-tons.

Until June 12, Gold Coast locals can save $20 on Adult open-dated tickets and receive up to $300 in bonus value! These tickets can be redeemed until the end of the whale watching season on November 6, 2022.

For more information, visit seaworldcruises.com.au.