Marine experts head to Hervey Bay for world whale conference
MARINE experts from across the world will migrate to Hervey Bay as it hosts the biennial World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites summit in 2019.
Considered the whale watching capital of the world, Hervey Bay has been attracting increasing attention from scientists, conservationists and businesses for the more than 30 years.
The international conference will focus on sustainable whale watching, with the Fraser Coast held up as a beacon for its commitment to using scientific evidence of best practice, environmental protection, sound financial model and a commitment to passenger satisfaction.
From the first days of whale watching in Hervey Bay in 1987 the scientific study of humpback whales has found a welcome and productive home in the region.
The earliest (and ongoing) research project has been the Pacific Whale Foundation's long-term study of photographically-identified humpback whales.
Additional work has been conducted at various times over the years by faculty and graduate students from the University of Sydney, James Cook University, University of the Southern Cross, University of the Sunshine Coast, and other institutions in Europe and the United States.
The contributions of researchers in Hervey Bay to our better understanding of humpback whales in general has been quite extensive.
Based on scientific studies conducted in Hervey Bay have increased our knowledge of the seasonally-dependent age and sex class structure of the whales migrating along the east coast of Australia.
Our city's affinity with the giant mammals were strengthened when Migaloo the white whale was named by researchers in Hervey Bay, and the first indication Migaloo is male was based on a recording of him singing in waters off our city.
Hervey Bay is attracting growing attention as a place where "sustainable" whale watching is taking hold, and operators from many parts of the world want to know more about how to make that happen.
The World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites summit promises to attract a large audience.
The allure of the marine mammals and the scientists who study them is evident with an informal gathering in Hervey Bay from October 11 - 15.