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Recording the Behaviour of the Earth’s Largest Creature with Pia Markovic

When you ask Naturaliste Charters marine biologist Pia Markovic what she loves most about Blue Whales, there’s no wavering when she answers. “Blue Whales are the largest animal on the planet – bigger than dinosaurs,” she says. “And learning more and more about them every day is both thrilling and rewarding.”

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Blue Whale with a Naturaliste Charters vessel in the distance. Image: Naturaliste Charters

Pia explains that it was originally understood that Blue Whales travelled solo for the most part, but over the last few years local marine scientists have discovered that they prefer to move in pods. Working with Naturaliste Charters has corroborated this. “We’ve seen up to eight whales in one area, suggesting that they travel together,” she says.  

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Naturaliste Charters marine biologists began recording the behaviour of Blue Whales approximately three years ago out of personal interest, focusing predominantly on their behavioural patterns. “We watch the Blues in the shallow, gentle waters of Geographe Bay, and usually they don’t do very much because they’re so incredibly large,” she explains. “For us, it’s the group dynamics that are really remarkable. What direction is the pod heading in? How big are the whales? Is there a calf in the pod? Any information collected is donated to Western Whale Research, who have been conducting whale surveys in the area for the past two decades.”

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Three Blue Whales with a Naturaliste Charters vessel in the distance. Image: Naturaliste Charters

The Blue Whales start arriving to Geographe Bay in November and usually stay until the end of the year, providing ample opportunity for multiple sightings. For Pia, seeing guests become involved with the spotting is a big highlight. “Guests on board the cruise can help us spot the whales. They aren’t usually expecting to see a Blue, so when they do it’s very memorable,” she says. “Each year the likelihood is increasing and nowadays we generally see them five days out of seven, so the odds are good.”

Dunsborough Whale Watching

The tranquil waters off the beautiful town of Dunsborough, provide the perfect backdrop for travellers to regularly observe Humpback Whales, Southern Right Whales and the possibility of spotting the largest ever creature on earth, the Blue Whale, as they escort calves born in southward to Antarctica from October onwards.

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