The first comprehensive aerial survey of whale activity in the Hauraki Gulf is nearing completion.
Scientists have spotted 21 species of whale and dolphin, including the world’s biggest, the blue whale.
A conservation department scientist, Alan Baker, says the survey is also exposing the movements of the large bryde’s whale. He says it has found the whale is present all year round and even breeds in the Hauraki Gulf.
Baker says it was previously thought the bryde’s whale migrated to warmer waters during the winter. He says the finding is important because of possible future whale watching interest in the species.
The survey has been running for 2 years and has 6 months to go.