2017 whale census nets record numbers off Mid North Coast | photos, video

Photo: Jodie Lowe
Photo: Jodie Lowe

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WHALE watchers were treated to nothing less than a spectacular show at Port Macquarie’s Tacking Point lighthouse on Sunday.

The 2017 Whale Census hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and ORRCA saw hundreds of whale spotters with binoculars in hand participate in the annual count.

And by all accounts, migrating whale numbers are the best they have been in years.

As of 1pm Sunday, more than 215 whales had been counted from the headland and all were humpbacks. Since June 1, more than 2300 whales have been reported.

Earlier in the week, several Brydes whales and minkes were seen in the mix.

Port Macquarie is considered one of the premium whale watching sites on the east coast due to its prominent headland.

An estimated 27,000-30,000 whales will migrate north this whale season, according to Andy Marshall from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Photo: Jodie Lowe

Photo: Jodie Lowe

“The data contributes to the ongoing estimates of the size of the east coast population of humpback whales,” Mr Marshall said.

“That has been increasing at a rate of 10 per cent per annum for the last 25 to 30 years we’ve been doing this survey work.”