23 Jul 2012

Southern right whale born in New Zealand waters

9:53 am on 23 July 2012

A southern right whale spotted off the Southland coast may be the first born in mainland New Zealand waters since whaling ended in the 1960s.

The whale calf was seen last week by a member of the public at Colac Bay, between Invercargill and Tuatapere.

Southern right whales were hunted near extinction as they were extremely valuable to the country's whaling industry.

Department of Conservation ranger in Southland Ros Cole told Morning Report the birth is a signifcant step in the recovery of the species.

She strongly advises the public to view the whale and its mother from shore, not by boat.