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MEDIA RELEASE - Whale nursery is open

28 June 2018

Tourism numbers are expected to swell following the birth of the first calf of the season in Portland this week at the same time as a new look whale tracking website is launched.

The proud mother has been parading her new arrival to eager whale watches in Portland Bay over the past 48 hours, alongside a further 15 sightings in local waters over the past week.

Visitors have been provided up to the minute updates on the whales movements on the new look Whalemail website, which now sits under the same module as council’s popular www.iamportland.com.au tourism website.

The whale blog provides members of the public the opportunity to log their own sighting, adding their own pictures and recommendations on the best viewing location. The site is running in addition to the popular Whalemail facebook page which now has more than 3000 followers, an additional 150 since the arrival of the calf in recent days.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said Portland’s status as Victoria’s whale watching? capital was gaining national attention.
“We continue to be overwhelmed at our Visitor Information Centre by the travellers who come from all over the country to witness our unique whale experience,” Cr Rank said.

“There are few places in southern Australia where you can sit in a CBD shopping strip or office space and watch whales play on the beachfront. This is happening on a daily basis right in front of our eyes. In fact, there is nowhere else in mainland Australia, or few locations in the world, where you can stand on the beach and watch a blue whale.

“Our community is so proud of these awe inspiring displays. These southern right whales are critically endangered animals who almost want to show off, teasing us with their waving tails, settling in for a break during their winter migration to warmer waters.
“We are one lucky town.”

The new Whalemail page is ensuring that no visitor, or local alike, misses a sighting of these visiting humpback and southern right whales.

Members of the public have the opportunity to upload a sighting, which is reviewed and confirmed by Visitor Information Centre staff, with support from local whale viewing experts.
Staff continue to raise the yellow whale flag at the centre once the sighting is confirmed.

Cr Rank said the new site provided informative maps, ensuring visitors had an easy guide to find the best viewing locations.

“This new webpage makes exploring Portland easy for our visitors. The fact it is linked to the Great Ocean Road web platform means we have new access to one of Australia’s biggest touring route markets which will further position our profile as a must see tourist town.”

To register for Whalemail visit www.whalemail.com.au.

Community members can also watch the latest Whalemail campaign, which is currently aired across television screens, by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re9JM1zNxZ4.


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