STEER CLEAR: Boaties have been warned to stay clear of whales as the move along the shores.
STEER CLEAR: Boaties have been warned to stay clear of whales as the move along the shores. Kevin Hill

Department warns boaties to steer clear of whales

THE Department of Environment and Science is urging caution for boaties as whales make their way along our shorelines.

It comes just days after an incident was reported of a boat getting too close to whales off Bargara.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment and Science said they were investigating the incident.

"The Department of Environment and Science is investigating a reported incident of a vessel approaching closely to a whale," the spokesman said.

"The incident allegedly occurred on Saturday off the coast of Bundaberg."

In the past few days many people have taken to social media to share their photos of whales spotted in the region, including mother whales and their calves.

The department spokesman said more than 33,000 of the aquatic mammals are expected to travel along the coast as they migrate north to warmer waters to have their calves and find mates.

"This is great for tourism, but boaties and others using the water may encounter whales and need to take extra care," he said.

"When whale watching, boats aren't allowed to approach closer than 100 metres from whales or 50 metres from dolphins.

"Other requirements also apply and can be found on the Department of Environment and Science web page www.environment.des.qld.gov.au."