July 1, 2018
Who is Migaloo?
This month’s edition of one of my favourite social media segments “Familiar Fluke”
Features none other than the most famous whale in Australia “Migaloo”!
This iconic whale was first sighted on the East Coast of Australia from Byron Bay in 1991 and is the possibly the biggest star of the Humpback Whale annual migration. This is mostly due to his ‘hyper- pigmentation’ being completely white. Migaloo generates a great deal of excitement- pandemonium even (especially) here at Dolphin Watch Cruises- we are yet to meet him! Will 2018 be our year!
The crew that day will have bragging rights most likely forever!
He generally passes through Sydney heading north from mid June, although last year in 2017 he wasn’t spotted until the 8th July. So hopefully we WILL get to see him in the next few days or weeks.
Where does his name come from?
Migaloo is an indigenous language word meaning ‘white fella’ – makes a lot of sense and is a nod to the history of indigenous people in Australia and their relationship with whales.
How do we know he is a male?
There was a DNA sample taken a few years ago by researchers from Southern Cross University in 2011, which confirmed that Migaloo was infact a ‘he’.
Are there others like him?
Yes, there are! A few that come to mind are- Migaloo jnr or (MJ) , Bahaloo and Willow.
It is not known whether these humpbacks are still alive, as they haven’t been sighted in 5 years! Perhaps they are travelling along different routes, or their pigment grown darker or less white or grey. Or, a sad but unfortunate reality that these whales may have not survived the harsh Antarctic waters or from the fate of whaling under the guise of scientific research.
To read more regarding the regulations and strict penalties that seek to ensure Migaloo’s protection and other information you can head to the following links:
Photo Credit: Craig Perry- Sydney Whale Watching