Thursday, November 17, 2011

Life & Death in Perth Waters

 As the remarkable recovery of humpback whales from, a few hundred on the Western Australian coast in the 1960's to over 30,000 today, continues new problems emerge.  On 10/11/2011 a humpback calf was hit by a pleasure boat transiting between Fremantle and Rottnest Island.  The calf sustained deep cuts to its back and was not expected to survive.  The stress to the mother - a highly intelligent and sentient mammal does not bear thinking about.  For the people on the boat, the experience would also be traumatic.

The above image is of a mother relaxing with her calf near the windmills (on the track from Fremantle to Rottnest) 8 days before the collision.  We really haven't come to grips with the explosion of whale numbers in our waters.  Pam and I have photographed over 1600 humpback whales in Western Australian waters and we see growing evidence of more frequent ship strikes.

It's time that we seriously rethink how we manage our marine activities and make our waters safer for these precious survivors from the days of commercial whaling.  Unfortunately as on the roads, speed kills.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

White Fluked Humpback Whale

A humpback whale flukes up in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.

The top fluke surface is usually black.  This is the first all white flukes we have seen in 
photographing 1480 humpback whales since 2006 in Exmouth Gulf.  This image was 
taken in October 2011 during the annual southern migration of humpback whales along 
the Western Australian coast.