The weekend of June 18 and 19 will see hopeful whale and dolphin watchers braving the weather to take part in the third
countrywide citizen scientist cetacean survey.
Kaikoura dusky dolphin Photo: Julie Chandelier
The event occurs during ‘peak humpback’, the time of year when the most migratory whales are heading north from
Antarctica to warmer waters to breed. The humpback whales and other species including orca and Hector’s dolphins, can
sometimes be seen from coastal vantage points. The survey aims to build information about whale and dolphin abundance
and diversity over time.
‘Peak whale’ and the survey are also a chance to celebrate the country’s special marine life, says survey organiser and
convener of the ‘Cetacean Spotting NZ’
Facebook page, Christine Rose.
Rose says, ‘Already we’ve had reports of humpback whales in unusual places – such as the Manukau Harbour. And orca are
seen somewhere, most weekends’. ‘That makes prospects for this weekend’s survey quite exciting.’
‘The more people looking, the more chances there are, of some inspiring whale and dolphin sightings, and what people see
– or not, can provide an important snapshot of what – or who, is in our waters’, says Rose.
‘To take part in the survey, people just need to spend a couple of hours at the beach, and fill in the online report
,’ says Rose. People should bundle up warm and be prepared for the elements, and a pair of binoculars will help but they
Mrs Rose says she’ll be watching from cliffs near Muriwai, where she’s previously seen endangered Māui dolphins, and
Southern Right Whales. This year she says she’s hoping for a humpback.