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MEDIA RELEASE - Increase in whales shows positive impact

4 September 2017

The Glenelg Shire’s coastline has been inundated with visits from more than 50 Southern Right Whales and Humpback whales travelling through the Southern Ocean waters this winter.

The last four months have attracted 46 Southern Right Whales and five Humpback Whales with almost daily sightings at Bridgewater Bay, Portland Bay, Cape Nelson and Pivot Beach.

Whales have been frolicking in waters as close as 20 metres off-shore at Portland’s Nuns Beach, in the heart of the town, allowing whale watchers to view from the sand as well as the cliff-top above.
Bridgewater Bay Café owner Scott Martin said the large number of whales had been good for business, creating more turn-over during what is normally a quiet season.

“We are pretty lucky here; there aren’t many cafes you can sit and have a coffee while watching not only whales, but seals and pods of dolphins on the beachfront,” Mr Martin said.

“We have noticed more customers coming into the café when we post about the whales on social media. Our Facebook page has been gaining a lot of traffic.”
Portland Tourism Association president Dennis Carr said the increased whale sightings were having a positive impact on tourism, not only for Portland but the entire state.
“The ‘Whale Mail’ website, managed by the Portland Visitors Information Centre, has been great, it has attracted interest from people from as far as Melbourne and interstate,” Mr Carr said.

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the high whale visitation had been exceptional for business and tourism.

“It is great to see people travelling such a long way to see the whales, it means people book accommodation, eat in a cafes and restaurants, and explore more of our beautiful region,” Cr Rank said.

Cr Rank said the frequent number of whales still swimming through Victorian waters was showing strong signs for the spring season.

“I strongly encourage people to register for Whale Mail (www.whalemail.com.au) to ensure they are kept up to date with all of the latest whale sightings,” she said.


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