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Education and research

Many research organisations and universities have studied whales in Hervey Bay since the 1980s and continue to do so, including The Oceania Project, Pacific Whale Foundation, University of Queensland, Sydney University, Southern Cross University and University of the Sunshine Coast.

Australia’s two foremost humpback whale researchers, Drs Trish and Wally Franklin from The Oceania Project, have conducted long-term research that succeeded in cataloguing almost 3,000 individual humpback whales and long-term life histories on over 600 individuals.

Along with research, education has a strong emphasis at Hervey Bay, with the Whale Discovery Sphere open seven days a week for educating the public.

Junior Whale Whisperer, an annual education programme, is delivered in schools to educate primary students about humpback whales and encourages classes to enter whale-related group art projects.

The Pacific Whale Foundation partnered with a local high school to engage year 10 marine science students in community research on whales and marine life in the Great Sandy Marine Park.

The new Creating Waves event, held at the annual Hervey Bay Whale Festival, provides the opportunity for members of the public to learn about new and ongoing research projects, and conservation activities for whales.