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Human-cetacean conflict solutions

The Hervey Bay whale watch fleet and the community prides itself on being a site with usually premium conditions for whale or dolphin watching, where the welfare of the animals is ultimately respected through close observance of regulations.

Commercial whale watching in K’gari Waters started in 1987. Immediately, the Queensland Government implemented a process to establish Hervey Bay as a Marine Park and, in consultation with the whale watching industry, developed regulations, a permit system, an industry ‘Code of Ethics’ and a well-researched education and interpretive programme aboard the fleet. Over the next 30 years the Hervey Bay whale watching industry made significant contributions to the livelihoods of the Hervey Bay community and attracted large numbers of visitors to the region.

The International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee already uses the Hervey Bay model as the base for sustainable whale watching worldwide. In more recent years, the code of practice and regulatory framework has been supplemented by additional data from the Pacific Whale Foundation.

Ongoing research and transparent communication has helped the site to share knowledge and build ownership within the industry in a sustainable way.

Photo: Lloyd Edwards