Australia: Whales put on another show

31st Jul 2002 Story:www.theaustralian.news.com.au

The three southern right whales which have delighted crowds in Sydney Harbour are putting on a show again today.

A NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said they were between Bradleys Head and Clark Island this morning.

NPWS was keeping a watchful eye on the creatures, she said.

"We've got a boat out there just to make sure people keep a safe distance from them."

The three are believed to have entered the harbour on Monday night and have since delighted whale watchers with their playful antics.

Even ferry passengers are getting a good look, with the harbour's Jetcats stopping for several minutes on most trips.

But people have been warned to keep well away from the whales, with the minimum distance allowed for boats set at 100 metres.

Whale watchers are being urged to view the free show from land, with Bradleys Head the best spot to see them this morning, the spokeswoman said.

"We would encourage people to go and have a look from land rather than take a boat out there," she said.

Southern right whales, which can grow up to 18 metres long, are often seen off the coast of Sydney at this time of year as they migrate north to breed.

While it was not known how long Sydney's latest visitors would stay, the trio would have to leave before September because the water became too warm, the spokeswoman said.

"How long they stay is anyone's guess. It's up to them," she said.