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MEDIA RELEASE - Whale season hits Portland

6 May 2019

Whale watching season has started with an impressive display in the Glenelg Shire, with a cheeky visitor exploring assets at the Port of Portland over the weekend.

A Southern Right whale was spotted on Sunday afternoon in Portland Bay, with whale watchers catching a close glimpse of the mammal from the popular Lee Breakwater jetty.

The sighting, which was shared across social media platforms, generated much excitement from the general public with a post on Whalemail attracting 40,000 responses within a 20 hour timeframe, including more than 200 individual shares.

Portland Tourism Association president Dennis Carr said Portland was living up to its profile as a whale watching capital.

“Last year Portland and the surrounding region experienced record breaking whale sightings off our coastlines, delighting locals and visitors to our region from May through to October,” he said.

“A total of 115 Southern Right Whales, 30 Humpback Whales and three Orca Whale sightings were sighted off coastlines near Portland, Narrawong, Cape Nelson and the Cape Bridgewater during the annual whale migration period.

“These figures set a new record for annual whale sightings and attracted national media attention, with visiting whales and their calves featuring in national media outlets such as the The Herald Sun, The Weekly Times and The Age.

“Following on from this unprecedented success, this confirmed visitor on Sunday is a promising sign that we will experience yet another year of high whale visitation.

“Furthermore, from the interest we have seen just from Sunday’s sighting I expect we will once again see a huge influx of visitors to our region as they attempt to catch a glimpse of these creatures in action.

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

Whale watchers can register for instant whale sightings via the Whalemail webpage on the I am Portland tourism website.
Whale sightings are also shared via social media on the Whalemail Facebook page.

The Portland Visitor Information Centre will also fly a yellow flag every time a whale sighting is reported. For further information on whale sightings in Portland, including the best locations for viewing, visit www.iamportland.com.au/whale-mail-portland.


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