PORT Macquarie families were involved in citizen science on Sunday as they participated in the 16th annual Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) whale census.
About 165 whales were reportedly spotted at Tacking Point at Lighthouse Beach by residents and National Parks and Wildlife representatives.
ORRCA president Ronny Ling said the census provided vital information about the behaviour, number, species and journey of different whales in the peak of their migration.
“Hundreds of people from around the country were involved in giving a snapshot of the day. We had 60 different sites and more than 1000 sightings were recorded.
“Reports of Minke whales, Southern Whites and in WA they saw orca whales which is a pretty special sighting. The census also creates awareness about what we do at ORRCA,” he said.
Mr Ling was amazed at how many people were involved in the citizen science.
“It’s great that people have been involved and want to learn more so they can say they contributed when we look at new rules and regulations after different studies and surveys are carried out.”
For anyone who may have missed the census but would like to assist ORRCA they can.
“Any sightings can be reported to ORRCA, not just whales but any cetaceans. Just call out 24 hour hotline number on 9415 3333. Any reported sighting assists us to learn more about marine mammals.”
ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia) is the main contact and their president is Ronny Ling