Mother and calf humpbacks filmed checking out whale watchers off Merimbula | Video

AMAZING MOMENT: A humpback whale approaches a boat off Merimbula in this video screenshot. Credit: Merimbula Marina
AMAZING MOMENT: A humpback whale approaches a boat off Merimbula in this video screenshot. Credit: Merimbula Marina

A humpback whale mother and calf have been filmed getting a good look of those on board a boat off Merimbula, delighting its passengers.

Merimbula Marina took the footage during an early morning cruise on Wednesday.

In it the two whales swim right up close to the boat and perform what known as "mugging", which is where inquisitive whales swim around and examine a boat, as well as "sky hops", which is when the animal lifts its head out of the water.

Merimbula Marina's Jessica Millar who owns the business with her husband said it was uncommon to see mugging from a mother and calf, and while whales did not approach boats all the time they did have a similar experience on Thursday morning as well.

Humpback mother and calf filmed off Merimbula. Credit: Merimbula Marina

"Everyone likes to watch whales, but it's extra special when they come to check us out," she said.

Ms Millar said her business had been seeing a good number of whales so far this season, and thought the mothers and calves had begun returning about a week earlier than normal.

She said each year the numbers of whales increased about 10 per cent. She said there was "still nowhere near the numbers that there would have been pre-whaling" but it was incredible to see the species' recovery.

"The biggest threat now is the food source in Antarctica, there's so many different companies harvesting krill there," she said.

She said the whale watching season would continue to the end of November.

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