21.4 C
Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Snap a whale in the name of science

Latest News

Soli becalmed in NSW Pro surf series

Local surfer Soli Bailey has finished in second place at the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series event held at Sydney’s Maroubra beach last weekend.

Other News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Tweed Council rejects Casuarina disability viewing platform

Issues of queue jumping, the allocation of Tweed Shire Council’s resources in both time and money, and responding to...

Croquet club gets new turf as it prepares to host NSW championship

The Byron Bay Croquet Club is ready for another big year that includes new turf, hosting a state championship and building on last year’s membership growth.

Ready for Byron’s latest massive development on Jonson St?

The changing face of Byron as Gold Coast and Sydney developers move in to recreate the look and feel of the town with intense development proposals.

Whale-watch operators and tourists are providing valuable information on the migration of humpback whales along Australia’s east coast, through an innovative project run by Southern Cross University researchers.

Funding announced through the Australian Government Initiative – Inspiring Australia – will help extend the East Coast Whale Watch Catalogue project along the length of Australia’s east coast.

The project, which aims to engage tourists and tourism operators in the collection of whale fluke photographs, is run by Southern Cross University Masters student Peta Beeman and Professor Peter Harrison, director of the University’s Marine Ecology Research Centre.

Ms Beeman has developed a website where individuals can upload individual fluke photos, which are then matched to large, existing photographic catalogues compiled by Southern Cross University whale researchers. The success of a pilot project over the last two years has prompted the researchers to extend the project.

‘These photos are being used to create a fluke catalogue that will significantly expand the range of individually identified humpback whales along the Australian east coast,’ Ms Beeman said.

‘The photos I am particularly interested in show the unique pigmentation pattern on the ventral surface (underside) of the tail fluke that enables individual whales to be identified.’

Ms Beeman said the photographs would help shed new light on the migratory patterns of individual whales.

‘One of the humpback whales was photographed off Byron Bay and it was matched with a whale sighted in New Caledonia. We have also matched whales sighted off the Gold Coast with whales photographed in the Antarctic. Over time we will be able to build up detailed information on where and when these individual whales are sighted and provide that information back to the people who contribute their photos,’ she said.

‘We have had a really positive response from whale-watch tour operators and charter-boat operators. We are now looking to involve more operators along the entire east coast from north Queensland to Tasmania.’

Professor Peter Harrison, director of Southern Cross University’s Marine Ecology Research Centre, said the project provided vital information for the ongoing protection and management of humpback whales.

‘An added benefit of this project is that it enables the tourism operators and other members of the community to play an active role in whale conservation and marine research,’ he said.

For information or to contribute to the project visit: www.scu.edu.au/eastcoastwhales.

This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian government through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shores United win local derby in season opener

Shores United FC began their season in the Anzac Cup B football competition with a 3-1 win over local rivals the Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley FC last Sunday.

Ballina Dragon Boaters win world championships

Shelley Cornish from Tintenbar has won two gold medals in the world indoor rowing championships as well as a world record time, while husband Paul Hurley chimed in with a silver medal.

Senior players triumph at Cherry Street Croquet Club

The experience combination of Joan Campbell (92 years young) and Elaine Astley (89) were able to beat the field and collect a win in the Cherry Streety Twilight Golf Croquet Plate Competition held at Ballina.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021