|Record numbers expected|
THE humpback highway is becoming more congested, with a record number of whales expected on their annual migration.
With the whale-watching boat tour season due to kick off this weekend, National Parks and Wildlife whale spokesman Lawrence Orel said up to 20,000 giants of the deep would pass along the coast in the next few months — a far cry from the days when the magnificent beasts were almost wiped out by whaling.
“In the early 1960s, humpback whales were nearly wiped out — numbers were estimated at 500,” Mr Orel said. “Since the cessation of whaling, numbers have slowly been increasing.”
The first humpbacks migrating from Antarctic waters to the Coral Sea have already been spotted off Eden and Merimbula on their journey north.
The bulk of the whales are expected to pass close to Sydney over coming months, with people heading out on the water or to headlands to spot their telltale blows — and hopefully a breach or two.
Mr Orel said morning was the best time to spot whales.