PICS: Whale spotting at De Hoop
If you are one of those travellers hoping to see some whales during your visit to South Africa, you are in luck.
Around 90% of them were spotted at De Hoop over the weekend, said William Stephens of De Hoop Collection.
Jean Tresfon, who is part of the first-ever Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit aerial southern right whale survey for 2019, and a marine conservation photographer, shared images of the whale sightings this weekend.
Tresfon, together with cetacean scientist and head of the Whale Unit, Dr Els Vermeulen spent the day in search of the whales.
Their first stop was Hermanus. At Walker Bay, they spotted 10 adults and one calf. The pair spotted a big Bryde's whale at Near Danger, but found that the majority of the mothers and calves were at Koppie Alleen, in the De Hoop Marine Protected Area.
“Our count yielded a total of 288 southern right whales, made up of 131 cow & calf pairs and 26 unaccompanied adults". This is a lower number than expected (August 2018 count was a record of 1 347 whales) and according to Els "suggests that the reproduction of these whales is still not back at normal levels likely due to non-optimal conditions in their feeding grounds".
"It will be interesting to see what next month's count shows us,” he said.