Byron Bay plays host to whale 'love in'
Forget all-day music events, surfin’ dudes and hippies at Byron Bay, the famous East Coast town recently played host to a special two-day ‘whale love-in’.
Manager of the Cape Byron Marine Park, Andrew Page said the event had been a great opportunity for the local whale-watching industry to come together to share information and experiences.
“The vast majority of humpback whales that travel between the Antarctic feeding grounds and the breeding grounds of the Great Barrier Reef pass through the Cape Byron Marine Park,” Page said.
“Cape Byron is the most easterly point on the mainland and has long been recognised as a premier spot for whale-watching. With the expansion of the industry, people now also have the opportunity to take to the sea with various commercial operators to watch the whales from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Ballina,” he said, adding that the recent love-in covered lots of ground.
“We focused on the management and conservation of whales, and the conventions and laws surrounding this, as well as the growth and status of whale and dolphin watching globally, in Australia and in the State.
“It was an opportunity to have a refresher on current whale-watching practices and regulations, and to talk about whale and dolphin biology and behaviour,” said Page.
Current research being conducted in the marine park, said Page, had led to increased knowledge about the importance of the waters adjacent to Wategos Beach for dolphin mothers and calves, and the importance of the waters off Byron Bay for humpback mothers and calves.
Page said the workshop had been run by Cape Byron Marine Park and Whales Alive, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of whales.
Cape Byron Marine Park is one of six marine parks in NSW and extends from Lennox Head to Brunswick Heads. It includes the tidal waters of the Brunswick River and its tributaries, as well as, Belongil and Tallow Creeks.
For more information contact the Cape Byron Marine Park, phone (02) 6620 9300 or check out the Marine Parks Authority website at www.mpa.nsw.gov.au