Whales begin migration along NSW coast

Tens of thousands of whales are expected to start their annual migration along Australia's coast.
Tens of thousands of whales are expected to start their annual migration along Australia's coast.

Tens of thousands of whales are expected to begin their annual journey up Australia's coastline over the next few weeks and months.

More than 30,000 humpback whales migrated from cold Antarctic feeding waters to warm breeding grounds in Australia's north last year, the NSW National Park and Wildlife Service said.

And many of those are expected to make the same trip again between the beginning of May, the official launch of whale watching season, and the end of November.

Among them will likely be Migaloo, the famous white humpback who first made headlines after being spotted in 1991 off Byron Bay.

The migration comes amid calls to stop seismic blasting to detect oil and petroleum deposits off the coast near Newcastle.

Port Stephens whale watching companies have expressed concern about the impact the tests are having on sound-sensitive species passing through the region.

The waters around Australia are home to 45 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and more than half of the world's cetacean population, NPWS says.

Australian Associated Press