The West

Whale of a surprise for fishermen
One of the 20 killer whales spotted off Dunsborough. Picture: Clinton Ashworth

Two fishermen got more than they bargained for when a pod of about 20 killer whales approached their boat off Geographe Bay last weekend.

Busselton men Clinton Ashworth and Raymond Kaestner were 16km west of Cape Naturaliste on Sunday when they saw the orcas.

"I've been fishing here for nine years and I've never seen any killer whales around here," Mr Ashworth said. "It was awesome." He captured the rare display on camera. "Some of them had a good look and came right up to the boat," he said.

Cyndy Glencross, from Dunsborough Coast and Landcare whale monitoring group, said it was rare to see killer whales. "Apparently they used to be down here all the time, but we've been monitoring the area for seven years and killer whales are unusual," she said.

Mrs Glencross said this year's whale migration season started earlier than usual, with the first humpbacks spotted in July.

Last season more than 1000 humpbacks came through Geographe Bay.

A Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman said killer whales often followed the northern and southern migration of humpback whales, to pick off the calves and old animals.

The West Australian

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