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Whale of a time in Overberg

29 Aug

Whale of a time in Overberg

Hermanus Times 17 August 2022

According to whale watchers this year is a spectacular season, and the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit agrees with this.  On 2 August, the MRI conducted their first aerial survey to count southern right whales between Hermanus and Witsand.  Along this stretch of coast, they counted a total of 248 females with calves and 40 adults without a calf. Of these, 60% (155 females with calves) were at the De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve, mainly around Koppie Alleen. In Walker Bay they counted 20 females with claves, and six females with calves were at Struisbaai.  Carl Bloemstein captured the image of this female and her calf near Hawston’s harbour.

The whale counting numbers are a slight increase from the numbers counted in August 2021 (158 females with calves), 2020 (71 females with calves) and 2019 (142 females with calves).  However, the numbers are lower than the record of 702 females with calves counted in August 2018, and so our hope to see another bumper year in 2022 (4 year calving interval after 2018) may unfortunately not become reality, a worrying trend which we will monitor closely, “said the spokesperson for the MRI.


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