The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) reef monitoring network ‘Eye on the Reef’ broke the news today “the first Humpback Whale of the 2012 season has officially been spotted within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.” The observation was reported through the Sightings Network by Ethan Franklin-Tice on board the “Sea Flight” vessel of Cruise Whitsunday. In fact a whole pod of Humpbacks was spotted in the shipping channel on the way back from the reef on 22nd May.
The news comes hot on the heels of the first Minke whale sighting of the season at Steve’s Bommie on the Ribbon Reefs north of Cairns earlier this week. Minke Whales normally arrive a good month before the humpback whales, so scientists are scratching their heads at the early arrivals. No doubt tourists and tourism operators alike are not complaining as they get to enjoy the encounters!
The Eye on the Reef workshops which are held by GBRMPA train tourism crew in reef monitoring which can help add to GBRMPA’s knowledge base but also guest speakers present talks to improve reef crew’s knowledge of new science about the Great Barrier Reef and also relevant topics such as whale interactions and regulations with watching whales from boats.
So the anticipation continues… when will we hear of the first Migaloo sighting???
Learn more about Eye on the Reef at http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au