Introduction

There was an endangered southern right whale in Wellington's Houghton Bay today!

Date:  01 September 2014

There was an endangered southern right whale in Wellington's Houghton Bay today!

This whale has been seen around Wellington’s coast since last Wednesday, where it was seen by Boom Rock near Makara.

There were further reports of it around Makara over the weekend, and then around the South Coast to Houghton Bay today.

These whales will often hang out in one location for a while before moving on.

There have only been a handful of Wellington Harbour / South Coast sightings reported to DOC in recent years, but historically they were so prevalent in the harbour that they kept local residents awake at night with the noise they made.

They were hunted to near extinction during the whaling period but are starting to make a comeback and sightings like this are becoming more common.

Southern right whale in Houghton Bay, Wellington. Image: Lydia Uddstrom.

If you're sharing the water with whales: 

  • Ensure that you travel no faster than idle or ‘no wake’ speed within 300 m of any marine mammal.
  • Approach whales and dolphins from behind and to the side.
  • Do not circle them, obstruct their path or cut through any group.
  • Keep at least 50 m from whales (or 200 m from any large whale mother and calf or calves).
  • Swimming with whales is not permitted

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