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October 17 2017

Habitat

Humpback migrating near Rottnest

Humpback Whales are currently migrating through the waters off Rottnest, heading South to their feeding grounds near Antarctica. 

They are putting on a spectacular show and you may be lucky enough to see them breaching while on the ferry ride across to Rottnest or while sitting on one of the Island’s 63 pristine beaches. 

Scientists aren’t sure why Whales breach, but they certainly look like they’re having a ‘whale’ of a time rolling, slapping the water with their pectoral fins and generally being playful.

Humpback Whales are the 5th largest of the great Whales and a type of Baleen Whale, which means that they have baleen plates which hang from their top jaw instead of teeth.  They are mainly black with a white throat and throat grooves.  They have a distinctive hump which shows when they arch their back diving and a pectoral fin that is approximately a third of their body length.

Weighing up to 50 tonnes and measuring up to 18 metres in length, these magnificent mammals are a sight worth seeing. 

The best time to see these Whales migrating is from late August to late November. 

If you’re boating around Rottnest while the Humpback Whales are migrating, please keep at least 100 metres from the Whales and don’t separate a group or mother and calf.  If you are swimming when a Whale approaches, stay at least 30 metres from the Whale.

All images taken by Doug Coughran - Sea Dog TV International (http://www.seadogtvinternational.com/