The whales are jumping as the giant dredge departs

There is no denying that the Gold Coast beach replenishment project has kept humpback whales away from shore. It has been a challenging whale season for all commercial operators and research groups that had to burn the extra fuel in order to get encounters with the majestic giants. We have listened to the dredging noise via underwater microphones, kilometres away from the dredging work hence, we are not surprised that whales steered clear of the Gold Coast shoreline. The dredging works are now completed and it seems whales are now seen immediately close to shore, dangerously close to the shark nets and drum lines.

The whale season is not over yet and we are heading out again with the team of Humpback and High-rises for an half-day survey trip. This unique morning boat trip will give you a personalised experience. Since we are part of a research program, we have a permit to approach whales as close as 50m. We will obviously only do this without compromising the safety and free movement of the animal. Since our vessel is small, chances are whales will come up close to check us out.

You will help the team of Dr. Olaf by collecting survey data including but not limited to recording numbers within individual pods, dive times, surface behaviour, collecting skin and mucus samples and obviously taking lots of close up photographs. Furthermore, your participation will help to fund Dr. Olaf’s work. More information about the research can be found on HHR website: https://www.humpbacksandhighrises.org/

Bull Sharks in the Gold Coast Seaway – Should I be worried?

This picture has been taken in the Gold Coast Seaway by Ian Banks from Diving the Gold Coast. It reminded us that approximately 20 surfers in average paddle across the Gold Coast Seaway each day right over the spot where this picture was taken. It’s a common spot where bull sharks happily hang out. We are not aware of any recorded shark attack in this area over the last decades which gets to show that the presence of sharks does not necessarily mean danger to humans. It’s a big ocean and sharks are there all the time, busy with all the things that sharks usually do all day long. Hunting for humans is not one these things. Shark attacks are accidents, often due to mistaken identity and very very rare in the scheme of things.

We will not get into the detail surrounding the shark net debate, however it is one more opportunity to express that shark nets have no purpose and are a psychological measure to take away the fear from tourist that our media has created.

(Photo Credit: Ian Banks – Diving the Gold Coast)