Bay student conducts whale survey
A HERVEY Bay school student is so passionate about saving the whales that he has surveyed locals on their attitudes and is working on launching a website.
“I’ve always thought whales are pretty cool,” Fraser Coast Anglican College Year 7 student Andrew Riis said, so he chose to do a school assignment on whaling.
About 60 people responded to his written survey which quizzed people on their attitudes to different aspects of whaling and revealed that the majority of people thought culling would affect Hervey Bay’s economy.
“If whales become extinct, it’s going to have a huge impact on the economy – a couple of million dollars a year,” Andrew said.
“Whale watchers spend money on whale watching tours as well as travel, food, hotels and souvenirs.”
He said a lot of people were aware of what an important issue it was but he believed some of the younger generation needed more education on whaling.
Andrew said there was no reasonable excuse for any country, including Japan, to be culling whales in order to conduct research.
He was also working with fellow students on launching a website within a month, as part of his school project, to urge people to take action to support whales and the local whale watching industry by signing anti-whaling petitions, joining organisations that were trying to save whales, and writing to politicians.
Andrew has also written a poem titled “The Voice of Whale” which carried strong education and conservation messages.