A photographer has managed to snap what’s believed to be one of the only pure white humpback whale in the world.
Australian photographer Craig Parry, 41, was four miles off Cape Byron when he saw Migaloo and was able to get some incredible shots back in 2016.
Reflecting on his encounter with the whale, he said: “The opportunity to photograph Migaloo was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I haven’t taken that for granted.
“Rare moments like this help connect humanity to nature and inspire people to appreciate our oceans.
“I set off from a beach called Brunswick Heads, and most of the photos were taken in waters near to Cape Byron, which is the easternmost point of the of Australian mainland.
“I used a Sony Alpha A7 II and fisheye lens for the shoot which lasted thirty minutes. Let’s hope I can catch up with my old friend at some stage.”
Migaloo was first seen back in 1991 and is famous around the world for his super-rare colouring.
Migaloo is suspected to be an albino, but as there has not been a definitive test carried out on him, he is referred to as ‘hypo-pigmented’.
The whale is so well-known that officials in Queensland brought in special legislation to keep him from harassment. The rules state that no vessels are allowed to come within 500 metres of him, or else they’ll face an AU $16,500 (£9,000) fine.
Parry confirmed he stopped the boats engines in excess of 500m away from the whale, after which Migaloo swam closer to the boat. He then didn’t restart the engines until Migaloo was a safe distance away.
The name Migaloo means ‘white fella’ and was given to him by Aboriginal elders. It’s believed the whale will live for at least another ten years, given that the average humpback whale lives for between 45 and 50 years.
Macquarie University Marine Scientist Dr Vanessa Pirotta compared Migaloo to a ‘rock star’ earlier this year.
She told the Daily Mail: “Migaloo is like the rock star for the ocean world because he’s showing that we should care about the ocean.
“But also remembering that because he’s so famous we need to be aware of our actions on the water.”
She went on to add that the chances of actually getting a glimpse of him are pretty slim, adding: “You would have to be quite lucky. I’ve only seen him once in my entire career of whale watching.”
Making Craig’s photos all the more impressive.