HAERE MAI
TOHORĀ

IT’S BEEN A LONG VOYAGE

Our tohorā/southern right whales are returning to mainland Aotearoa New Zealand. You can help scientists this winter by reporting all whale sightings from around our coastline, whether you see a tohorā or other type of whale. This will help increase knowledge of whale distribution and movements around the country.

Tohorā are making a comeback from whaling. It’s been a long voyage but they are now venturing out of the safety of their sub-antarctic refuge and returning to our waters. We need to understand how and where they’re coming back, so we can plan and take care of this recovering population. Please help us look out for them. No matter what part of our 15,000km coastline you are on, you have a chance of spotting a tohorā. We need your eyes!

HOW TO REPORT
A WHALE SIGHTING

Call 0800 DOCHOT (0800 362 468) or report online at doc.govt.nz and share your photos on Instagram and tag @itsliveocean to let us know what you saw!

RECORD THE DETAILS

Include as much information as possible with your sighting:

  • Date, time and location (GPS coordinates if possible)
  • Number of whales and calves
  • The direction they were travelling
  • Take photographs or video

THE BEST PHOTOS

  • Focus on the identifying marks, the left side of the head and shots of the full length body
  • For the tohorā, focus on the white patches on the head, lip line and white streaks on the body

BE WHALE WISE AT SEA

Check your distance

  • 50m away (or 200m if the whale is with a calf)
  • Keep a ‘no wake’ speed within 300m

Check your position

  • Always come from a direction that is parallel and slightly from the rear
  • Don’t circle whales, or obstruct them
  • Don’t box whales in (against the shore or other boats)
  • If a whale moves towards you, slow down and stop or carefully manoeuvre out of the whales path

Be kind

  • Avoid loud or sudden noises
  • Never cut through a group or separate mothers from calves
  • Don’t feed or swim with whales

Get on board

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