1000 people make whale outline on Shoal Bay beach

1000 people make whale outline on Shoal Bay beach Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.
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Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.

Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.

Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.

Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.

Human Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.

TweetFacebook Human Whale photo shootHuman Whale on Shoal Bay Beach on June 1. Pictures courtesy of Ray Alley.A HUMAN humpback slowly materialised on Shoal Bay Beach on Sundayas more than a thousand locals and tourists gathered to celebrate the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean.

For the second straight year, the human whale made for a spectacular sight from the skies on a reasonably clear day in Port Stephens.

Human whale co-ordinator Frank Future said an amalgamation of whale watching cruise operators gathered the masses to acknowledge the International Court of Justice’s ruling to ban the Japanese government from whaling in the Antarctic.

Last year, more than 600 people gathered on the beach to form a shape of a Humpback Whale to acknowledge 40 years since whales were last hunted in Australia.

Mr Future, the Imagine Cruises skipper, said the humpback population in waters off the east coast of Australia had boomed ever since, a rare conservation success story and something that should be celebrated.

‘‘We had a great turn-out, considering the forecast was for rain,’’ Mr Future said.

‘‘It’s a celebration of the fact that we still have whales, it’ one of the few success stories we can celebrate.

‘‘When I was a kid you never saw any whales, there was only 1800 humpbacks in waters of the east coast about 19 years ago.

‘‘Now there are nearly 20,000, which is about a 10 per cent annual increase.’’

Mr Future said the ‘‘peak run’’ of migrating whales was approaching, with hundreds expected to be spotted near the coast in the coming weeks.

The human whale was organised by Port Stephens Tourism and whale watching cruises Imagine, Moonshadow and Tamboi Queen.

‘‘We work together to promote whale watching, it’s important to Port Stephens tourism and injects more than $10 million to the port every winter,’’ he said.

Mr Future said there were plans to create a human whale every year in winter as the whale watching season begins.