As they recover from near extinction from whaling, they need protection inside critical calving and nursery grounds, several of which are found around Australia's coastline.
Human development continues to increase along our coasts. Key threats to the whales include vessel disturbance, underwater noise disturbance, vessel strike and entanglement.
The Federal and State Government has recently approved pile driving and construction of the Granite Island Causeway in Encounter Bay, a key habitat during whale season (May-November).
The underwater noise from approved construction of the Granite Island Causeway is likely to impact the behaviour of the whales in their critical habitat. There is a short window of opportunity to act during this unprecedented time.
We need the science and a robust scientific study to document the impacts to inform adaptive management and policy decisions, and demonstrate the importance of marine protected areas.
The science objectives are to:
- Assess the whale numbers, location and behaviour in the presence and absence of human activities
- Monitor human activities and record underwater noise
- Promote conservation management and protection for the whales through recommending management solutions
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Australasia are helping facilitate this funding for the scientific and citizen science group Encounter Bay Right Whale Study and collaborators from Curtin and Flinders Universities. We are also grateful for the assistance of the Department for Environment and Water.
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With your generous support we can help carry out this vital project and protect these amazing creatures.