THE POYNER family was out in the boat having another whale of an adventure last weekend.
Jon Poyner’s footage again captured the attention of the media in the big city and Channel 7 came down on Wednesday to put together a story on his latest adventure.
It was only last month when his underwater shots of a great white shark taken at Montague Island but identified as only being on the South Coast made it into a daily metro paper.
This time it was a pair of southern right whales lolling about in the shallows off Brou Beach.
Jon and his children had been fishing on the shallow reef when the whales possibly getting away from all the activity off Dalmeny Beach decided to head north coming right up to their boat.
He was able to take great underwater footage of the whales relaxing in the clear, shallow waters.
This footage caught the attention of Channel 7 who two days later sent out reporter Damien Smith, who went out with Jon and the kids on Wednesday looking for more whales.
Damien tweeted that day: “In Narooma, working on a fabulous whale story. The pictured will amaze you.”
Sure enough they found a few humpback whales and this new footage was patched together with Jon’s earlier video of the right whales with the story airing on the Channel 7 news at 6pm on Wednesday.
Encounter a reminder on whale exclusions
The southern rights filmed by the Poyners had been seen by many locals, some mistakenly thinking it was a mother and calf but Jon’s footage shows it is two adults, albeit one is larger than other.
Some residents were concerned how close boats and Jetskis were getting to the whales in recent days and this is an opportunity to remind everyone there is 100 metre exclusion around adult whales and 300 metres around a mother and calf.
That is unless the whales approach you as was the case with the Poyners and other lucky whale watchers such as the charter boats that operate out of Narooma.
Migrating whales are delighting watchers all along the east coast this season, and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) this week is reminding people both on and in the water to observe distance regulations for their own safety and that of whales.
NPWS Marine Fauna Program Coordinator Geoff Ross said swimmers, sea kayakers, and surfers were bound by the same regulations as apply to people in motorised boats.
“We are seeing more whales each year which is a fantastic sign of recovering populations, but it also means people have to learn to live with these animals harmoniously,” Mr Ross said.
“Vessels, including surfboards, must not approach within 100 metres of a whale, and that triples to 300 metres if a calf is present.
“Swimmers cannot approach within 30 metres however we do not recommend people enter the water near whales.
“If a whale approaches you it’s your responsibility to move away calmly and cautiously, considering public safety and the whale’s safety.”
Mr Ross recommended trying land-based whale watching.
“Land-based whale watching from a good headland vantage point takes a bit of patience but can yield some exciting experiences.
“From September through November there are a number of whale watching hot spots to try, including Green Cape near Eden and the elevated areas through Mimosa Rocks and Eurobodalla National Parks.
“When you see a whale, tweet with the hashtag #whaleon to @WildAboutWhales or log the sighting using their free app so others in the area can view the animal and track its movements.
“If you see an entangled marine animal or one in distress, call NPWS on 1300 361 967 and the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) on 9415 3333,” Mr Ross said.
The Office of Environment and Heritage works closely with volunteering groups like ORRCA to empower the community to care for their own environment, including wildlife.