Whales Turn the Tables and Gather to People-Watch

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Curious and friendly dwarf minke whales meet curious and friendly humans in this annual meet n’ greet  – and in a remarkable turn around, it is the whales, not the humans, who more or less set the rules for how the interactions take place.  It started with a chance encounter between one man and one whale nearly thirty years ago, and now up to 50 whales come to people watch.

We believe in connecting people with nature in a profound and meaningful way.”

The following information is from the Eye to Eye Marine Encounters and Minke Whale Project websites:
John Rumney and his dedicated team of researchers and crew have been running swim with minke whale trips for 17 years and pioneered the swim with whale experience in Queensland. They were also instrumental in the development of guidelines that ensures all encounters are carried out on the whales’ terms and have now been adopted by industry as World’s Best Practice.

We want to give YOU the best wildlife experience possible in the hope that it will inspire you to protect our marine treasures. Our ethos and reputation has made us the first point of call for documentary film crews, universities and marine institutes around the world. We have been fortunate enough to introduce the beautiful minke whales to IMAX, Galatee (Oceans), National Geographic and the BBC and wish to continue sharing one of world’s most incredible wildlife experiences with others.”

dwarf minke ww“SCUBA versus snorkelling
Studies of in-water interactions with dwarf
minke whales have shown that in most
cases the whales make closer approaches
to snorkellers holding onto a rope at the
surface (Birtles et al., 2001; Valentine,
Birtles, Curnock, Arnold & Dunstan,
2004). By holding onto a rope at the
surface, swimmers maintain a relatively
fixed position and their movements
become more predictable. Snorkellers on
surface ropes are also much more easily
supervised and managed by crew than a
group of scuba divers (who are able to
move in three dimensions).
If both SCUBA divers and snorkellers are
in the water at the same time when whales
are around, scuba divers should stay well
clear of the area underneath the snorkellers
to avoid detracting from the snorkellers’


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