WILDLIFE officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection were continuing to monitor an injured 6.5m humpback on the Sunshine Coast.

Hundreds of people went to Mooloolaba yesterday to see the whale swim towards the mouth of river.

Conditions were difficult fior the animal, with north-easterly winds.

A department spokesman asked people to stay away from the humpback whale, which looked in poor health and showed signs of stress on approach.

"People need to stay away from the whale and remain outside the 100m exclusion zone," the spokesman said.

"Not only is it a safety risk to anyone who approaches the whale, it may impact on the whale's movements."

The department was liaising closely with officers from Seaworld, who are providing veterinary advice.

Members of the public should report whale strandings to the RSPCA on 1300 264 625.

Information about approach limits and behaviour around whales is available from the wedsite, http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au