Australia: Migaloo the whale is turning 30, and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane - - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaMigaloo the whale is turning 30, and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane

01:30  02 june  2019
01:30  02 june  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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That 's what people call the white humpback whale pictured up… Migaloo was first spotted in 1991 along the But the obsession with Migaloo the white whale is far from on the wane . Migaloo the albino humpback is well-known in Australia where he regularly travels along the country's east

With whale season upon us, all eyes are on the east coast of Australia in the hope of spotting Migaloo the albino humpback on his 30 th birthday.

Migaloo the whale is turning 30, and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane© Supplied: Craig Parry Byron Bay photographer Craig Parry received an international photography award for his 2016 shot of Migaloo titled 'The Ghost'

With whale season upon us, all eyes are on the east coast of Australia in the hope of spotting Migaloo the albino humpback on his 30th birthday.

Each year, the whale's obsessive fans try to capture the rare albino humpback through the lens of their cameras.

He is just one of an estimated 35,000-plus humpback whales that migrate along the east coast of Australia each year from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, and back again.

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The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale . One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m (39–52 ft) and weigh around 25– 30 metric tons

Migaloo the whale is turning 30 , and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane . I hope he lives forever, I hope the whales will be okay. I was reading all this really sad news about West Coast whales and starvation and it super depressed me, then I see this and it gives me

But the obsession with Migaloo the white whale is far from on the wane.

Migaloo reaches milestone birthday

For husband and wife whale researchers Wally and Trish Franklin, Migaloo is an obsession that spans nearly three decades.

"Trish and I have been studying humpback whales in Hervey Bay since 1989, so this in fact is our 30th year — and interestingly that coincides with the lifetime of Migaloo," Mr Franklin said.

"We believe he was born in 1989, and he's 30 this year."

Migaloo was a young juvenile when the pair first encountered him in Hervey Bay in 1992, and again the following year.

"The fact that he is all white is quite remarkable and incredible," Mr Franklin said.

"It's incredible because as far as we know he's the only white humpback in the eastern Australia humpback group, and that group now numbers in excess of 35,000.

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Migaloo , the white humpback whale who frequents Australian waters, turns 30 this year. Further out on the reef it was all dead! Every direction as far as I could get to on an hour dive. These outer reefs used to be covered with giant mound corals and porkchop corals with thousands of fish!

Migaloo the whale is turning 30 , and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane . With whale season upon us, all eyes are on the east coast of Australia in the hope of spotting Migaloo the albino humpback on his 30th birthday.

Mr Franklin said while there have been reports of other white whales, none have been followed up with evidence, and to date all of the encounters with a white whale have proven to be Migaloo.

'He knows he's different'

When acclaimed photographer Craig Parry saw a helicopter circling the ocean off Byron Bay in 2016 he wasted no time.

"Dad and I were at Cape Byron sipping on some soup in our boat … and I said 'dad, that's him!' and we scooted up there," he said.

"Low and behold there's this iceberg-looking giant coming out of the water and I got to photograph him breaching and slapping his tail.

"We actually turned our [boat] engines off for over an hour and he just put this performance on in front of Mount Warning and it was beautiful."

The encounter landed Craig Parry first place in the underwater world category at the prestigious 2017 Golden Turtle International Photography Competition in Moscow.

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Where to spot Migaloo as the white whale turns 30 this year. Whale -watching season is officially upon us, and we only have one question: Where is our favourite albino humpback The adult male whale is a unique find for scientists, a delight for tourists and, for most Aussies, an unofficial national mascot.

"People ask me what's your favourite photo and it's very difficult for me to say this one, or this one," he said.

"But the story of Migaloo was by far the best opportunity I've had, not just for me as a photographer, but as a human."

Mr Parry said he had been lucky enough to encounter the illusive white whale every year since and to learn a little more about his personality.

"He seems quite dominant and he seems like he's in charge," he said.

"He knows he's different, I think."

'If you believe in Migaloo, you believe in magic'

Migaloo has had an equally profound effect on Byron Bay tour guide Glenn Sanders.

"If you believe in Migaloo, you believe in magic," he said.

"A lot of people ask me 'how do you find Migaloo?' And I say he's a 40 tonne, 15-metre mammal. How do you miss him?

"But he is very illusive and he does a fantastic job at hiding from people."

Mr Sanders said he first encountered Migaloo in Byron Bay last year.

"The boat was filled with this sort of silence and disbelief for a fair while, shortly followed by immense excitement. Everybody was losing it," he said.

"The energy that you feel in his presence is overwhelming.

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Migaloo the whale is turning 30 , and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane . With whale season upon us, all eyes are on the east coast of Australia in the hope of spotting Migaloo the albino humpback on his 30th birthday.

Migaloo the whale is turning 30 , and the obsession with this albino humpback is far from on the wane date added: 2019-06-14 source: www.abc.net.au. Shame: Russian Schoolchildren Brought on ' Whale Jail' Tours, Activist Says date added: 2019-06-14 source: www.themoscowtimes.com.

"We get that from whales anyway … but the energy I felt with Migaloo was next level."

When will Migaloo make an appearance?

Each year, several southern humpback whale groups leave their krill feeding grounds in the Antarctic to begin their annual northerly migration, clocking up about 10,000 kilometres on the return trip.

One of the groups travels along the east coast of Australia, passing Cape Byron on their way to the warmer sub tropical waters of their birthing and mating grounds on the Great Barrier Reef.

The majority will pass Byron Bay between May and November each year.

Mr Franklin said Migaloo's popularity has resulted in a wealth of information about his movements.

"Typically he turns up in New Zealand in late June and then reappears on the east coast of Australia either at Cape Byron or off the Gold Coast," he said.

Mr Parry believes Migaloo could make an appearance in late July.

"When I took the photo of him a few years ago he arrived on the 24th of July, and last year when I saw him it was the 24th of July," he said.

"So I think there's a bit of a calendar going on."

Mr Franklin said given the lengthy lifespan of humpback whales we're likely to see Migaloo well beyond his 30th year.

"Presently we believe that the average life of a humpback whale is in the order of 100 years," he said.

"So we've got the chance of seeing Migaloo for many many years to come."

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