WHALES are likely to return to waters like Lady Bay with their young as traumatic memories of the region's whaling industry begin to fade, experts believe.A new generation of the endangered southern right whales may soon choose to raise their young in protected south-west bays, where harpoons once slaughtered their ancestors. According to the theory, which is reportedly gaining prominence among marine scientists, the beloved mammals can pass on information from one generation to the next - including what areas to avoid because of likely dangers. If the mysterious creatures continue to frequent the region's more visible waters, the region's unpredictable yet multi-million-dollar whale-watching industry could be set for a big boost. Department of Sustainability and Environment flora and fauna manager Mandy Watson said local marine scientists were increasingly confident that during future winter whale migrations southern right whales would start to move back into areas where they had historically raised their young. "Logans Beach may have been on the periphery (of past whaling operations and), maybe Lady Bay was once the nursery area used by southern rights," she said.But memories of whaling in the area could have prompted breeding females and their calves to move to Logans Beach as a substitute nursery. "Logans Beach doesn't fit the typical model of a nursery area," Ms Watson said."Most of the other places do tend to be a bay." Ms Watson said a PhD student based at Deakin University's Warrnambool campus was examining the theory.She said the student was expected to publish her findings next year. "As the population grows, we might just see more whales using Logans Beach and maybe using places like Lady Bay and Port Fairy." One breeding female, which stayed at Logans Beach throughout August and came to be known as "Lotsadots", chose the south-west coast to raise her first calf, Ms Watson believes. An extensive photographic catalogue of more than 30 southern right whales spotted in the area has revealed this year's season was the first time Lotsadots has been photographed in the south-west.