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MEDIA RELEASE - Portland attracts first whale of the season

1 May 2018

Whale watching season has started early in the south west with a confirmed sighting at the weekend in Portland.

A Humpback whale was spotted 200 metres off shore from the popular Wade Street whale viewing platform on Sunday, with whale watchers also entertained by a pod of dolphins frolicking nearby.

Portland Tourism Association president Dennis Carr said whilst the official whale watching season wasn’t recognised until June, the early sightings showed promise of yet another strong year.

“Last year we welcomed 62 whales to Portland’s waters, including 48 Southern Rights and 14 Humpbacks ,” he said.

“This confirmed visitor on Sunday is a promising sign that we will experience yet another year of high whale visitation. As Victoria’s whale watching capital, Portland continues to attract thousands of visitors year round hoping to catch a glimpse of the Southern Right, Humpback and Blue whales in their natural habitat.

“I’m looking forward to the positive benefits for our economy from these welcome visitors.”

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said preparations were well underway for the season, with a new whale sighting website and a dedicated regional marketing campaign planned.

“A new Whalemail webpage is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks, acting act as a one stop shop for all things whale watching in the region,” she said.

“The new webpage, housed on the I am Portland tourism website, allows users to view details of whale sightings in the area, including maps, dates, time, location and type of whale, details on local whale viewing platforms and a direct link to social media channels.

“Meanwhile, a new Whalemail television commercial was recently filmed and will go to air this winter across Victoria and South Australia to further entice visitors to the region.”

Recorded whale sightings will be instantly posted on the Whalemail Facebook page and the new Whalemail webpage on the I am Portland tourism website.

The Portland Visitor Information Centre will also fly a yellow flag every time a whale sighting is reported.


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