For anyone who isn’t aware, Migaloo is considered to be the most famous humpback whale in the world and until recently was the only pure white adult humpback known to man. Mingaloo was originally spotted in 1991 off Byron Bay, NSW and has since been spotted several times over the past few decades. Migaloo was named after the Aboriginal word for “white fella”.
Previously in 2011, a white humpback whale calf was spotted in the Whitsundays and became known as Migaloo Junior however it is not known if they are related or not. Migaloo Junior appears to have one small black dot on the dorsal surface of his left fluke which aligns with the condition leucism rather than albinism.
This new albino humpback whale is the perfect and most exciting way to begin the whale watching season. According to Australian Law all whales are protected however humpback whales that are more than 90% white are “special management marine animals” which have extra protection from marine vessels unable to reach 500 metres of them. This is because back in 2003 Migaloo was hit by a boat and has scars on his back from that encounter. It is terrible that this is what it took to protect whales from being struck by vessels.
Here at Manly Whale Watching we pride ourselves on the safety of our customers, staff and for all marine wildlife. Despite being able to get quite close with “normal” whales we take great care with every decision we make when approaching a pod of whales or dolphins.
We are already enjoying this whale watching season and look forward to seeing some new faces this year!