Bay man is on a whale of a mission
PETER Lynch is a man on a whale of a mission.
The Blue Dolphin owner and operator will travel to South Africa on Thursday to push Hervey Bay's case to be named as a Whale Heritage Site at the World Cetacean Alliance conference in Durban.
In addition to that, he will also be pushing for Hervey Bay to be named the next location for the bi-annual conference, which attracts about 200 representatives from the whale industry across the globe.
While Mr Lynch operates his own dolphin and whale watching business, he is heading overseas on behalf of every operator in Hervey Bay to secure heritage status for the Fraser Coast.
He said he believes Hervey Bay has a strong claim thanks to the work by the Oceania Project's Trish and Wally Franklin, who had conducted extensive research into what made the Bay the place whales came to stay and play.
"Hervey Bay is a very special place, especially for mothers and calves," Mr Lynch said.
Being located next to a World Heritage-listed icon in Fraser Island would also make Hervey Bay an ideal candidate, Mr Lynch said.
The other part of his mission will to be promoting Hervey Bay as the perfect location for the next World Cetacean Alliance conference in 2019.
"We'd like to make a submission to host it," Mr Lynch said.
"We know this is a great place for whale watching and this is something we can really use to promote Hervey Bay."
He is paying half of the $5000 cost, with Fraser Coast Tourism and Events contributing $2500 toward the mission.
A spokesman from the tourism body said it was expected that Mr Lynch would have the opportunity to make a presentation at the event.
"The aim of this presentation is to support Hervey Bay's bid to be Australia's first accredited Whale Heritage Site," he said.
"This is a World Cetacean Alliance program with tremendous potential to elevate our region's status in the world as the only genuine stopover along the migration route for humpback whales - an amazing phenomenon.
"The conference and the WHS program can have numerous ongoing benefits for the Fraser Coast, especially and primarily in our endeavour to be named the first Australia site.
"Pete has a secondary purpose for the trip which is a long way from certain, however the destination is interested in potentially hosting a future World Whale Conference to again reinforce our significant relationship with the humpbacks."