Humpback whales. Photo- Parks and Wildlife Service
Humpback whales. Photo- Parks and Wildlife Service

The McGowan Government has today given confidence to the Gascoyne tourism sector by welcoming the return of humpback whale swim tours at Ningaloo this season.

Establishing a viable 'swimming with humpbacks' industry will create jobs, offer additional experiences for visitors and boost the local and Western Australian economy.

The 2020 season coincides with the release of the Management program for humpback whale interactions along the Ningaloo Coast 2020.

The management program focuses on commercial in-water humpback whale interactions from Exmouth and Coral Bay but also considers recreational activities, whale watching and other operations in the region.

The program's development involved consultation with Gnulli joint management partners, stakeholders from the tourism industry and scientists specialising in humpback whales.

The management program can be viewed here.

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

"Swimming with humpback whales is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the only place in Western Australia where this can be done is with a licensed operator on the Ningaloo Coast.

"Visitors to the region also have the chance to spot other wildlife that call the spectacular Ningaloo Coast home, such as whale sharks, manta rays, dugong and turtles.

"Now is the perfect time to 'Wander out Yonder' and support businesses to reinvigorate the State's tourism industry, which has been doing it tough. 

"This updated management program is an important framework to ensure that the safety of both whales and visitors is managed effectively."

Minister's office - 6552 5800  

Page reviewed 25 Jun 2020