National Whale Day observed at Kangaroo Island, Victor Harbor | PHOTOS

In the lead up to World Oceans Day on June 8, Kangaroo Island Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch undertook a series of events to highlight both the marine environment and World Environment Day.

Unfortunately National Whale Day celebrations at Victor Harbor were restricted to a celebration lunch after postponing the research survey due to inclement weather.

A small group of dedicated citizen science volunteers, including Victor Harbor mayor Moira Jenkins, enjoyed a delicious Hotel Victor lunch.

Joining them were Michael and Bianca Veenstra from the Big Duck Boat Tours, who have been a vital, integral part of not just the Dolphin Watch project but the overall protection of cetaceans in regional waters over eight years of operation in Encounter Bay.

Stunning, clear conditions with no wind to speak of made the Kangaroo Island survey on World Environment Day, June 5, a delightful experience for all aboard Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures.

No large whales were encountered but a pod of 20 bottlenose dolphins, including two young calves, resting and frolicking off North Cape made for brilliant observations.

Moving further offshore resulted in an exhilarating encounter with a number of frisky shortbeaked common dolphins.

These beautiful, small, swift dolphins provided the highlight of the day with high energy aerial displays.

What a way to finish the on water celebration. After the survey the group met at Amadio's in Kingscote to debrief and complete the celebrations.

On both occasions KI VH Dolphin Watch coordinator Tony Bartram thanked all volunteers over the years for their dedicated efforts in data collection assisting with conservation efforts.

He reiterated the critical state of the highly endangered southern right whales in the region, whose population is estimated to have fallen to less than 300, making them the most highly endangered group of baleen whales in the world.

"True cause for reflection on the International Fund for Animal Welfare's National Whale Day," he said.