Extraordinary Sight: Two Australian Southern Right Whales Peacefully Hang Out With Paddleboarder


On the coast of Perth, Australia, a rare and extraordinary sight was witnessed, two Australian southern right whales were seen hanging out with a paddleboarder.

As the Australian southern right whales were slow-swimming, floated when dead, and provided large amounts of valuable products – particularly oil for illumination and lubrication – land based whaling in Australia was concentrated on this particular species.

In fact, between the years of 1835 and 1845, commercial whaling took around 75% of the southern right whale population. Although their population suffered a significant decline — “an estimated 12,000 southern right whales are spread throughout the southern hemisphere, compared to an original population before whaling of more than 100,000”— their numbers are growing around 7% per annum. As a result, sightings of the whales are becoming increasingly common.

The whales, which had been seen hanging around the Esperance’s Fourth Beach, attracted the attention of Esperance local Jaimen Hudson. Hudson had raced down to the car park with his drone the moment he heard there were whales frolicking off Fourth Beach; however, what he didn’t know was that Dave Price, owner of the Local Esperance Sail & Surf, had already made his way out to the whales on his stand-up paddle board.

Here’s how Hudson described the moment to the local news:

Dave Price who lives close by, was just making his way over to the whales on his stand-up paddle board and they were really inquisitive and came over to meet him.

I don’t think it was dangerous, the whales moved to where he was and the whole time they were very slow moving and peaceful.

Paddle Boarding with Whales Esperance Australia 2 YouTube

Thanks in part to the Great Australian Bight, Australia’s remarkable marine life has been allowed to flourish. The bight is the longest east-west ice-free coastline in the southern hemisphere, spanning over 700 miles from Western Australia to Tasmania.

The Bight’s pristine waters are home to an abundance of wondrous and unique creatures. As much as 85% of the species that live there are unique to the area and cannot be found anywhere else. Ultimately, this makes the Great Australian Bight an important ecosystem. In addition, the bight is also home to the largest nursery for endangered southern right whales.

Image via Nachoman-au/Wikimedia Commons.

Despites the areas obvious importance to the ecosystem and the wide variety of unique species that live there, the accident-prone oil company BP is looking to drill in the area. While drilling in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010, a BP oil rig exploded and spilt an estimated 210 million gallons of oil into the water. More than five years later, and the entire area is still suffering from the aftermath.

If a BP oil spill were to occur in the Great Australian Bight, it will take at least 35 days for support to arrive from Houston and Singapore. In addition, Upworthy reports that there is also a significant chance that a spill of any size will spread and contaminate the entire southern coast in under four months.

However, even in the unlikely instance that BP’s drilling efforts result in no oil spills, Tuna fisheries and protected environments will be detrimentally impacted by the effects induced from BP’s underwater sonic blasting.

Although BP’s plans to drill in the waters of the Great Australian Bight have been rejected, it is unlikely the company will cease its efforts.

To help preserve these crystal-clear waters and the millions of unique creatures the live within it, you can sign The Wilderness Society’s online petition here.

This Article (Extraordinary Sight: Two Australian Southern Right Whales Peacefully Hang Out With Paddleboarder) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.


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