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Migaloo heading north


Brigid Veale
14 June 2005
Migaloo, the white humpback whale, is expected to reach waters near Cape Byron tomorrow (June 15) or Thursday following a number of sightings off Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

Researchers with Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre are calling on anyone who spots Migaloo to contact the centre.

Associate Professor Peter Harrison said with Migaloo generating intense interest it was important people obeyed whale watching legislation and did not harass the whale.

Professor Harrison said Southern Cross University researchers had obtained the first sloughed skin samples from Migaloo last year, and were able to confirm that he is a male.

Further genetic testing now underway will determine whether Migaloo is related to other humpback whales which they have collected skin samples from.

This year, the researchers are also hoping to obtain more sloughed skin samples from Migaloo (collected from the water after he passes) to conduct further tests on the whale's albinism.

Migaloo was first recorded off Byron in 1992 by the Australian Whale Conservation Society.

"He has been seen on and off since then and there were a number of sightings in the last two years. He has also been reported off Hervey Bay in 1992, 1993 and 1998 by SCU researchers Wally and Trish Franklin."

Anyone who spots Migaloo is asked to contact the SCU Whale Research Centre on 66203774, 0407 456 249 or email [email protected]