STRANDED WHALE: The humpback whale beached at Woodgate last week.
STRANDED WHALE: The humpback whale beached at Woodgate last week. Mike Knott BUN220816WHALE2

Why whales keep washing up on our beaches

HUMPBACK whales have stranded themselves on Bundaberg region beaches recently but authorities say the number is normal for this time of year.

Three juvenile humpbacks have been found at Fraser Island, Woodgate and Moore Park in the last two weeks.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson said the deaths were normal, as humpback numbers had been increasing by an estimated 10% a year.

"The humpback population has been increasing and more than 20,000 whales are now migrating along the Queensland coast, with mothers giving birth along the way," the spokesperson said.

"It is normal to see a small number of deaths each year, as in any population of wild creatures."

The spokesperson said whales often stranded themselves when they were sick or injured and calves often become stranded when separated from their mothers.

"It is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to reunite a calf with its mother once they become totally separated," the spokesperson said.

"Reasons a calf could become separated from its mother vary - the mother could have succumbed to sharks, human causes such as boat strike or shark nets or the calf may have had a health problem."

StrandNet data shows the region from Double Island Point to Baffle Creek had six dolphin and three humpback beachings last year.

The spokesperson said boaties should follow the rules to make sure marine mammals could live naturally without being disturbed.

"Please don't restrict the path of a whale or cause it to change direction. Please don't ever drive a boat into a pod of whales," the spokesperson said.

"People should also remember not touch a beached whale as they may carry zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transferred from animal species to humans."

Report stranded marine life, including whales, to the RSPCA on 1300 264 625.