White whale puts on a show

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A WHITE whale believed to be Migaloo was sighted in the Whitsundays last week.

On Thursday, August 30, the Cruise Whitsunday vessel ‘Seaflight’ was returning to Airlie Beach when passengers and crew sighted the whale near the Hook Passage at about 4.30pm. Cruise Whitsundays staff member Crystal Lacey was lucky enough to have her camera on hand and snapped a few shots of the whale in full breach.

“[It was] the most amazing sighting of a whale I have ever seen,” Ms Lacey said.

Cruise Whitsundays marine biologist Emily Smart said while white whales were considered rare, Migaloo was by no means the only one.

“There are in fact about 10 or 15 from a population of between 13,000 -15,000 humpbacks that migrate up the East Coast of Australia, so it is still quite an unusual sight,” she said.

Ms Smart said whales were often identified by specific colourations “so for a white whale it would be very difficult by sight to determine if that was a particular individual”.

Nonetheless, the famous Migaloo is believed to be heading south and Cruise Whitsundays chief executive Peter O’Reilly said it was wonderful to think that the well-known whale was in our area.

“He’s a celebrity, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr O’Reilly said.

“There’s even websites tracking him, so it’s great when that spotlight falls on the Whitsundays,” he said.


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