Whale sightings in Port Stephens reach new heights as humpback migration nears peak

Take a peak at the horizon from any vantage point in Port Stephens and you'll more than likely spot a whale. And that's not likely to stop any time soon.

Lisa Skelton, a deckhand with whale watching operator Aquamarine Adventures, said humpback whale activity around the Port had been prolific this season.

"We'll continue to see whales heading north until August," she said.

"The peak of the migration will carry through to July so there'll be so many whales passing over the next month.

"August is a bit of a transitional month. We see the last of the animals heading north and start to see some of the early animals returning south.

"Back when whale watching started, over 20 years ago, there use to be a distinct break between the two migrations.

"But these days there are so many whales that the migrations overlap. There were only about 2000 whales when whale watching began in Port Stephens about 25 years ago. Today there's around 35,000."

Ms Skelton said passengers on board cruises last Friday afternoon saw about 50 whales in the space of 90 minutes.

With how many whales are currently passing through the Port, Ms Skelton said it was important that vessel operators knew the safe approach distances for marine mammals.

In NSW, vessels are required by law to stay at least 100m away from humpbacks and to travel slow when boating offshore.