Make City of Onkaparinga Beaches a Restricted Whale Nursing Area

Make City of Onkaparinga Beaches a Restricted Whale Nursing Area

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!

This week a Southern Right Whale may have given birth to a calf in the shallows protected by the natural reef at Port Noarlunga South Australia, the mother and calf are following the Tjilbruke Dreaming Trail. The mothers and daughters generally return to the same location to birth every 3 years or so while the males and juveniles that accompany the birthing mothers stay further out to sea.

Southern Right Whale birthing in Gulf St Vincent has only happened twice to my knowledge (with the first cow/calf birthing Marino Rocks in 2018), since South Australia was settled in 1836 and famously there was a Port Noarlunga settler called George Hepenstal who built a whaling station at Port Noarlunga in 1840 but George never caught a live whale.

Before South Australia was settled in 1836 there were whaling stations successfully catching whales from Kangaroo Island from 1803, maybe sooner in the late 1700’s and there is mention of French and American whalers from Kangaroo Island. 

I have formed the opinion from extensive research into early SA settlement that the Southern Right Whales stopped coming into Gulf St Vincent to birth calves before South Australia was settled in 1836 as the whales knew they would be trapped in either Backstairs Passage or Investigator Strait and would be easily killed in these bottlenecks on either side of Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu and Yorke Peninsulas.

I believe that the Southern Right Whales changed their birthing location to the high cliffs and dangerous waters of the Great Australian Bight in around the late 1800's as the whales were protected from whalers who were then operating out of Whalers Way near Port Lincoln and other locations, so the Spencer Gulf was dangerous for the SRW to birth in too.

Being that the Southern Right Whales birthing in the last 200 years is rare, and now a second has returned to give birth in 3 years which may return again with her daughters and sisters to birth, it is imperative that City of Onkaparinga beaches be declared an Whale Restriction Zone so that when more Southern Right Whales return to this unique location to birth their calves they are free from harassment and disturbance from motorised vessels and greater than the current 300m allowed distance which is too close.

If you support making City of Onkaparinga Beaches a Restricted Whale Nursing Area when whales decide to birth here please sign the petition.

Picture Credit to Barbara Martin

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!