CONTROVERSIAL anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are setting up shop in Hervey Bay.
The group, which has come under an uncomfortable spotlight for their often-violent confrontations against Japanese whaling ships, are planning to have a Hervey Bay chapter by the middle of the year.
Its latest controversy caused an international incident when the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin helped three Australian men board a Japanese whaling ship of the coast of Western Australia.
The new chapter will be used to fundraise for the group and raise awareness of whaling in Antarctic waters.
It will be one of only 18 across Australia and New Zealand.
Sea Shepherd Australian outreach coordinator Amanda Watters said the group had managed to secure an experienced volunteer coordinator from Cairns who would coordinate the Hervey Bay chapter.
Ms Watters expected Hervey Bay to end up as one of the group's biggest regional chapters thanks to the Fraser Coast's dedicated greenies.
"It helps having an area that's so dedicated to the ocean," she said.
"It will definitely get large in Hervey Bay."