Experience the Sydney Dusky Whaler Season

Dusky Whalers Sharks Cabbage Tree Bay, Manly

The Dusky Whaler Shark season has begun. We tend to spot one or two Juveniles Dusky Whaler Shark around January on the Manly snorkel tour. Jeremy one of our guides had his first sighting on the 14th Jan 2020.

The amazing thing about the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve is the seasons of the sea. There is always different wildlife in the bay depending on the time of year. Also, the more times you explore this area you will observe and learn the patterns of the seasons. Water temperature changes through the year and so does the wildlife. All year is nice to snorkel if you have the right wetsuit. We provide 5mm suit in winter for adventurous guests. It’s always worth it if you like wildlife.

What do they look like?

The Dusky Whaler is a ‘typical’, streamlined, grey-coloured shark. It has a very wide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters (Australian Museum). Identification according to the Australian Museum – “The Dusky Whaler has a long-pointed snout, long pectoral fins and a low ridge between the dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin is tall and the tail is heterocercal. The teeth are serrated. Those in the upper jaw are broad and triangular. The lower jaw teeth are more slender. The species is grey to grey-brown above and pale below. There is an indistinct stripe on the side of the body. It extends forward from above the pelvic fins. In juveniles, the lower lobe of the caudal fin and underside of the pectoral fins are dusky. Fin markings become less distinct as the fish ages.”
They eat bony fish, other sharks, crustaceans and cephalopods. We get a seasonal migration of the juveniles from Jan to June. Most numbers are spotted March-May on our Manly snorkel tour.

You can get lucky and swim with 10-15 small Dusky Whalers Sharks at a time. Our guests enjoy when they see this amazing creature gliding through the water. We have had people who are scared of sharks before the snorkel change their opinion of the fear. They see these amazing creatures cruise and gliding through the water with gracefulness minding their own business. The guests leave with a new respect and relationship with something they feared.

The females come to warmer coastal waters to give birth. Litters are produced every 2 to 3 years. (Australian Museum). It is crazy to think they swim with us in a few meters of water and can go as deep as 400m in the ocean.

Do you want to see the Dusky Whalers

If you want to enjoy this special migration in Sydney with confidence then please join  on to the Manly Snorkel tour or if you want to go on your own and want to get some top quality gear check out our online shop.

Have fun exploring

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