The University of Queensland (UQ) research project on humpback whales is about to get underway again this year off the coast of Peregian Beach.
In the last of a series, the research will commence on September 17 and run until the end of October. It will include a research ship out at sea with eight observers plus crew on board as well as eighty five more researchers and trained observers on shore.
Experiments measuring the effect of noise from seismic air guns on humpback whales' behaviour will be undertaken.
Associate Professor Michael Noad, scientist in charge of the research from the Cetacean Ecology & Acoustics Laboratory, School of Veterinary Science at UQ said "We have very stringent mitigation measures to ensure that whales are not harmed in any way. At any time, we have more than thirty five pairs of eyes watching the whales and their behaviours from seven different platforms. If they get too close to the ship with the air guns or if there is any sign of whales being distressed, the trial is shut down. We want to get a much better idea of how whales respond to these sounds, not just from a hearing perspective but from a behavioural perspective as well".
The research is of interest to the seismic industry, which uses loud seismic sounds during oil and gas exploration, and also to governments and regulatory bodies. To date there has been no hard data available that provides any degree of certainty about the effects of various levels of seismic sounds upon whales. This research, when concluded should be able to provide that data.
There will be a public seminar on the work at the Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club on the night of Tuesday 23 September at 7.30pm.
Whale Research public seminar
Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Peregian Beach
Tuesday 23rd of September 2014
For more information please contact: Associate Professor Michael Noad: 0416270567 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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