Keep an eye out for tohorā

24 Hōngongoi 2020







Over the next few months tohorā, southern rights whales, are moving through our waters and can be seen from anywhere along the coastline of Aotearoa.

Scientists from University of Auckland and Live Ocean are calling on public sightings to help improve knowledge about distribution and movements.

Tohorā, once an endangered species, are now believed to number 30,000.

Report any sighing to the Department of Conservation hotline 0800 DOCHOT (0800 362 468), for more information check out Live Ocean.


How to be whale-wise at sea:

Check your distance

  • keep 50m away (or 200m if the whale is with a calf)
  • keep a ‘no wake’ speed within 300m

Check your position

  • always come from a direction that is parallel and slightly from the rear
  • do not circle whales or obstruct their path
  • don’t box whales in (against the shore or other boats)
  • if a whale moves towards you, slow down and stop or carefully manoeuvre out of the whale’s path

Be kind

  • avoid loud or sudden noises
  • never cut through a group or separate mothers from calves
  • don’t feed or swim with whales