MIGALOO has made a slow and secretive passing of the Port Macquarie-Hastings coast today (June 17) ensuring he remained out of the watchful eye of whale spotters.
Jodie Lowe, wildlife photographer on Port Jet cruise Adventures, was out on the water and briefly caught a glimpse of the white whale before he took a deep dive off Tacking Point.
Jodie was keen to snap a photo of the popular traveller on the whale migration but missed out this year.
"We couldn't get photos because he was extremely elusive," Jodie said.
"It was at 11am when he was first sighted from the lighthouse by spotters.
"There were plenty of eyewitnesses on the headland with binoculars and on the boat including myself, plus the skipper and passengers.
"We tried our best to get photos but being elusive and doing 10 minute down times we weren't having much luck.
"He stands out like anything though, we just couldn't get close enough before he did the dives which was a bit disappointing but we are dealing with wild animals so that's just how it is sometimes.
"There were plenty of other whales around so seeing a white whale amongst the others, he stands out so well."
Migaloo should be off Cape Byron by the end of the week on his migration north with more than 30,000 humpbacks who head to warmer waters to give birth.
The 40 tonne, 15 metre whale has been given extra protections under Commonwealth Government legislation due to his uniqueness.
Vessels can be fined $16,500 if they come within 500 metres of the white whale.
Migaloo is believed to be over 31 years of age.
Researchers from Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre were able to collect sloughed skin samples from Migaloo in October 2004 when he breached. Small pieces of skin fell into the water and were collected and analysed for DNA, the White Whale Research Centre said.
From this it was confirmed that Migaloo is a male, believed to have been born in 1986. A genetic fingerprint for Migaloo was also obtained, allowing researchers to check for relatives of Migaloo amongst the other whales they have samples from, as well as to check whether Migaloo is the father if they obtain skin from a calf.
Migaloo is suspected to be an albino whale, but without definitive evidence for the moment he is known as a "hypo-pigmented" humpback.