“Spyhopping” enables Hervey Bay humpback whales to people watch.
“Spyhopping” enables Hervey Bay humpback whales to people watch.

Minke whale visits Hervey Bay

A MINKE whale has been spotted playing with its humpback cousins in the waters off Hervey Bay.

Robyn Burgess from whale watch boat Tasman Venture said it was unusual that a minke whale – a northern hemisphere variety, distinguished from other whales by a white band on each flipper – had been spotted in the Bay.

“The whales have been fantastic so far,” Ms Burgess said.

“It’s just continual. We even saw a minke whale which isn’t a regular variety.”

Ms Burgess was not alone in her opinion of the 2010 whale season so far.

Cathie Horne from Quick Cat II said the whale season was “absolutely excellent”.

“There are so many whales out there I don’t know which way to look.

“Just this week six whales have mugged the boat. About 100 metres off the bow one was jumping and 200 metres away the whales kept breaching.

“The whales are definitely here and they’re very playful.”

Erin Barrett from Spirit of Hervey Bay said the past few days on the water had been terrific.

“We’ve had a great week. The whole Bay was glassed over – there wasn’t a breath of wind. There have been a lot of muggings, where they come right up to the boat, and a lot have been viewed underwater.”

Minke whales are the second smallest baleen whale; only the pygmy right whale is smaller.

Adult males measure an average of 6.9 metres and females 7.4 metres in length, respectively.

Adult humpbacks range in length from 12-16 metres.

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