We are well into whale season and Phillip Island has had a bumper week with whale sightings. But it's also a time to be mindful about how we shoot and represent whales on social media, especially in relation to drone photography. Drones are fantastic and they are used for a number of benevolent purposes, including research. But flying a drone under a height of 500m above a whale is illegal. In fact, flying a drone anywhere above Phillip Island Nature Park managed areas is illegal on Phillip Island. The regulations can be found here: https://www.penguins.org.au/conse…/conservation/regulations/
If you see someone flying a drone over a whale during whale season, please call Phillip Island Nature Parks.
Whales communicate by echo location. They are sensitive to certain frequencies of sound. While drones may not be loud, it may emit a sound that is distressful to whales.
If you do see a post of a whale shot by drone on social media, avoid sharing it. People who are ignorant of the law will go out and use their drone to shoot whales, thinking they too can get an "instagrammable" shot. Sometimes you can be an influencer by staying silent. We almost killed off the whales once. Let's not do it again.