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MEDIA RELEASE - It's official - Patches of Portland is the newest whale

12 August 2019

Portland’s newest whale has officially been named, with a Portland resident taking home top bragging rights for the winning entry.

Michelle James has been selected as the official winner of the Whalemail ‘Name our Whale’ competition with her creative suggestion of ‘Patches of Portland’. Ms James’ entry was chosen from amongst 150 names offered during the three week long online competition.

Ms James was surprised to hear her suggestion had been selected, but was overjoyed with the news.

“I was shocked to hear that I had won, but it was a lovely surprise. I had entered on the first or the second day of the competition and didn’t expect to hear back, so it was an exciting moment to hear that my name had been chosen,” she said.

“The name, ‘Patches of Portland’, came from the distinguishing features of the whale, particularly the large white patches on the neck and belly and the missing tips of both tail flukes. I also wanted a name starting with the letter P to team nicely with Portland.

“It’s quite a rare achievement and an honour to know I have been able to officially name our city’s newest whale.”

As part of her prize Ms James will also receive a Portland Harbour Tours voucher, with four free places to complete a tour with exclusive access to shipping berths and the commercial fishing fleet.

The winning name was selected by the Portland Visitor Information Centre in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to ensure the name was not previously allocated to any other identified and recorded whale.

The whale, ‘Patches of Portland’, was picked from the South East Australian Southern Right Whale Photo Identification Catalogue curated by the DELWP.

‘Patches of Portland’ will now join ‘Kisme’ and most recently ‘Badu’ on the official identification register as Portland Whales.

To keep up to date with whale sightings sign up for notifications via the Whalemail website, or visit the Whalemail Facebook page.

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