How you can join fight to save stranded whales
THOUSANDS of whales travel through the waters off Hervey Bay every year, but sadly not all these majestic creatures survive.
There have been multiple reports of stranded whales in the area since whale season started in July and these are only going to increase, according to Dylan Walker, CEO at the World Cetacean Alliance.
"This is particularly true for coastal communities along whale migration routes, where whale populations are also increasing. The public interest in these events is also escalating and we are increasingly seeing untrained public interventions that are not always in the best interests of the animals and can be extremely dangerous for humans,” Mr Walker said.
The sheltered waters of Hervey Bay in the Great Sandy Marine Park provide a resting area for humpback whales during their annual migration from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica.
Every year, Organisation for the Research and Rescue of Cetaceans in Australia works with responder groups worldwide to ensure marine mammal rescue methods include the latest and most efficient techniques.
In a collaboration with ORRCA and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the World Cetacean Alliance will host a comprehensive Marine Mammal Incident Response training workshop in Hervey Bay on October 12.
The one-day course will be the closing event for the World Whale Conference and will be held at the Beach House Hotel, 344 Charlton Esplanade, Scarness.
It will be comprised of theory and lectures as well as a practical exercise.
Training will enable volunteers to attend incidents when requested, as new ORRCA members.
"To empower the community with a greater understanding as to why authorities and rescue organisations respond to these situations in the way that they do, combined with expert ORRCA training enabling the skills and confidence required to be a first responder, is a win-win for everyone,” Mr Walker said.
The training workshop will ensure new members are well prepared, covering biology, first aid and care as well as practical training to introduce members to the unique pressures of a whale stranding incident.
If you would like to enrol to attend this workshop, visit worldwhaleconference.org. Limited places are available.