Whales in our Coastal waters will be better protected this season.
The Alexandrina Council has taken a strong stance on the issue with 9 of 11 councillors in support of a motorised vessel exclusion zone and to establish a Southern Right Whale Nursery Protection Area.
Between May 1 to October 31 from the Hindmarsh River Mouth to the Murray River Mouth, no motor boats will be allowed through the new Southern Right Whale Nursery Protection Area, where whales go to birth and raise their calves.
It followed extensive community consultation on the issue from February 4 to March 1 2019. Of submissions received, 55 percent offered support for the proposal while 44 percent were against.
During debate in the council chamber on Monday May 20, Councillors Carter and Rebbeck raised concerns over the effect of the exclusion zone on local tour boat operators, as well as surf lifesaving clubs.
However, most Councillors saw the need for greater protections of whales "as paramount," and the move would also protect the tourism industry.
Image: Olga Ernst