WARRNAMBOOL businesses thrive on the whale-watcher’s dollar but visitors to the city have been hard-pressed to spot any marine mammals this winter.
The Visit Warrnambool website reported the presence of two whales close to the Logans Beach nursery on Tuesday but the season has been predominantly scarce so far. Sightings have been more often reported in Portland and Great Ocean Road waters.
Warrnambool resident Robyn Bodycoat, whose home overlooks Logans Beach, said Tuesday’s pair was the first she had seen this year, confirming a slow whale-watching season.
“They must have gotten a better travel deal somewhere else,” she laughed.
Before Tuesday the website recorded “no confirmed sightings” backdated to July 2.
It listed another no-show yesterday, while Portland Visitor Information Centre updated its Whalemail when two humpback whales were spotted east of the Cape Nelson lighthouse.
Warrnambool City Council tourism services manager Peter Abbott yesterday said he was not yet concerned about the creatures’ absence, despite the potential blow it could have to the south-west city’s mid-year economy.
“The whales bring a lot of people to the town so it’s much better when they’re here,” he said.
“We haven’t given up hope yet though.
“If they don’t show up I’ll get out the blow-up whale.”
Mr Abbott said the whales spotted had been drifting between several locations along the south-west coast from Lorne to Portland.
“They’re not staying in one spot,” he said.
“That may mean they’re not going to have any calves which is disappointing.”