Humpback in Whangarei Harbour

Humpback in Whangarei Harbour

A few days after the dolphins, Ingrid with a team consisting of Sarah Dwyer (common dolphin researcher), + three volunteers (Eva, Sam & Leonie) and Sarahs’ dog,  Rea, set out after getting a call of a whale acting suspiciously.  There were concerns that this particular humpback may have been the one which was noted to have a bouy and line tangled around it, in the Bay of Islands on the 29th of September.  That whale was the second humpback in as many days, to be reported entangled in nets/rope.  Near the Whangarei harbour entrance a young adult humpback was spotted.  After spending an hour following it, we could see no rope on it.  The event was of note, however as this is the first time a humpback has ever been recorded in Whangarei Harbour.  The whale was seen to breach once, right near Snake Bank, just inside the narrow entrance of the main shipping part of the harbour.  Unfortunately it never showed it’s tail flukes – the part of a humpback whale which is typically photographed for identification purposes.  However, images of it’s side showed a prolific number of small scars and fresh bite marks which are indicative of cookie cutter shark bites. These sharks take a plug of flesh out of larger animals and in many instances leave permanent scars on their prey.

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