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Whales, calves sightings increase

Dawn Gibson
Sunday, July 20, 2014

FOLLOWING the initial excitement of humpback whales migrating to Fijian waters earlier this month, more whale sightings have been recorded — and this time, whale calves are also being spotted.

This was confirmed on Friday by whale specialist and member of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Pacific Program Dr Cara Miller who said she had received numerous sighting reports recently.

"There have been several reports from near Koro Island during the last couple of weeks and there was a long encounter with a small pod (including at least one calf) just close to Gau yesterday morning (Thursday morning)," Dr Cara said.

"Generally, the Vatu-i-Ra passage area and associated island groups tend to have the highest number of sightings during the season — and accordingly is considered to be one of the key migration corridors for humpback whales through Fiji."

She said however, that a number of whales were also seen in many other areas within Fiji such as the Lau Group and the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups.

"Myself and the Fiji Fisheries Department keep a database of all the sightings in Fiji waters and will set up a Facebook group very soon for all interested whale watchers to post their images and data — as well as check out what is happening in other parts of the country."

The recent sightings have been of whale pods, which have a total of between three and six whales.

Whales usually migrate to Fijian waters in July for the purpose of breeding and they leave around the months of October and November.

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