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Everyone will soon know about Hervey Bay's whales

Dr Trish and Wally Franklin are putting an educational resource together to share what they've learned after researching Hervey Bay whales for more than two decades.
Dr Trish and Wally Franklin are putting an educational resource together to share what they've learned after researching Hervey Bay whales for more than two decades. Contributed

WHALE expert Dr Wally Franklin predicts that 10% more whales will swim past Hervey Bay during this whale season compared to last year.

He and his wife Dr Trish Franklin have studied whale movement along the coast for over two decades and have seen a pattern form.

When they started their initial research, Wally describes the whale number at Hervey Bay to be about 1,000 compared to 25,000 at present.

"Before the last major period of whaling, the numbers could have been as high as 40,000," he said.

"We have seen a steady increase but there is still a long way to go.

"Aside from the increase of number of whales, another fundamental change that has happened is an extended whale season."

After years of gathering information, the pair is ready to put their findings about Hervey Bay's whales to the world.

They will develop educational resources in the next stage of what is known as The Oceania Project.

"Over the last two years, we have been completely focused on publishing our research in scientific journals and getting our PHDs," Wally said.

"The public generally doesn't have access to that, so we will take all the detailed info and build it into our website.

"It will be an amazing educational resource that will promote Hervey Bay."

The Oceania Project is already making waves, with more than 145k likes on Facebook and their videos YouTube have more than 8 million combined views.

"Our existing site gets visits from all around the world but we estimate with the new information, traffic will double," Wally said.

To fund the initial research, the pair took others out with them on expeditions with Dr Wally estimating that as many as 2500 came along.

That isn't possible with this stage of the project which is why the Wally and Trish have opened up to the public for help.

To help fund The Oceania Project, visit gofundme.com/theoceaniaproject.

Topics:  fraser coast hervey bay whales



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