Sunday, June 21, 2015


Humpback whales in North Pass between Lincoln ...
Humpback whales  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Lab at the University of Queensland is seeking applications from volunteers for a three week behavioural study on humpback whales from September 26 to October 18 this year. This year's field season is part of a larger study that has been examining how humpback whale behaviour is affected by noise from seismic air guns. This study, known as the Behavioural Responses of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS) project, has been examining this issue since 2010 in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Curtin University, the Australian Marine Mammal Centre, the University of Newcastle and Blue Planet Marine.

The 2015 study will once again be conducted at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane. It follows several successful studies of humpback whale vocalisations and behaviour at the same site during the Humpback whale Acoustic Research Collaboration (HARC) as well as the three years of BRAHSS ( ; Unlike previous BRAHSS field seasons, however, this study will not involve experiments with air guns, but will focus on the collection of 'baseline' data, i.e. data on the normal, unaffected behaviour of the migrating humpbacks as they move down the coast.

Volunteers are required mainly to conduct land-based observations of the whales as they pass our study site. Approximately 2,000 whales should migrate southwards within 10km of Peregian Beach during the field period making the site ideal for land-based tracking and observations of behaviour. We will also have a fixed hydrophone array moored offshore allowing us to record ambient noise and whale vocalisations and acoustically track singing whales in real time. Some whales will be tagged with suction cup tags for recording sound and underwater behaviour. Although volunteers will be used to help out on the boats, opportunities for volunteers to participate in boat work are limited and most time will be spent doing land-based observations. Volunteers will also have opportunities to participate in the acoustic recording and tracking of whales in the base station.

Individual volunteers will spend approximately five hours daily (in two shifts) observing passing whales from the land. Volunteers will get at least one day off per week, usually during bad weather. Volunteers will receive training at the beginning of the project and therefore successful applicants must be available for the entire 3-week duration of the project. A high standard of safety will be maintained throughout the field work and volunteers will be trained in safety procedures.

Volunteers must be sociable as they will be expected to work and live as part of teams with shared cooking and cleaning duties. We expect that there will be around 30 people (researchers, staff and volunteers) at the site. Volunteers must organise and pay for their own transport to the study site (close to Brisbane International Airport) but food and accommodation are provided once there. As meals are communal, fussy eaters are discouraged from applying! (vegetarians are fine).

This project will suit people with a background in science (including recent graduates and graduate students as well as higher level undergraduate students) keen to gain experience in cetacean survey techniques, acoustics and behavioural studies. Applicants should also be highly motivated and able to concentrate for several hours at a time. Those with previous survey experience of marine mammals or other taxa will be preferred.

The research project is being funded by the Joint Industry Programme on E&P Sound and Marine Life (JIP) ( and the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ( as part of a broad investigation into the potential interaction between the sounds that are generated by the offshore petroleum industry and the marine environment.

Applicants should reply with an email to Michael Noad ( with cc to Rebecca Dunlop (, Michael Williamson ( and Aoife Foley ( outlining why they would be suitable for this survey, why they would like to participate, an outline of previous relevant experience, and any other relevant details. The email should include an attached CV and the names and contact details of two professional referees. There are only 8 positions available. Applications will be accepted until Fri 26 June 2015.
Assoc. Prof. Michael Noad
Cetacean Ecology & Acoustics Lab.
School of Veterinary Science
The University of Queensland – Gatton campus
Qld 4343
Tel. +61 (0)416 270567
Fax. +61 (0)7 54601922



English: Whale near Tadoussac, Canada Deutsch:...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is the world̢۪s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Together we represent 70 Partners in 35 countries worldwide. Through cooperation, the Partners of the World Cetacean Alliance aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world̢۪s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued health and survival. The WCA is committed to developing and implementing new concepts for responsible whale and dolphin watching tourism with the potential to inspire and educate millions of people.
We are looking for two post-graduates with relevant qualifications to assist with producing a report on best practice in responsible whale and dolphin watching for destinations worldwide. We view this as the essential next step to ensuring that the whale and dolphin watching industry becomes more responsible and sustainable.
The successful interns will assist our team in creating a Best Practice Framework for all destinations. This Best Practice Framework will be used by destinations promoting or developing whale and dolphin watching to guide and inform the localised standards that may already exist. In addition, by showcasing effective models within this Framework it will also assist those destinations either starting up, or with limited resources, particularly in the developing world, by illustrating the models most likely to lead to success for them.
We are looking for two interns with good research and report writing capabilities to gather information and write, in collaboration with other authors, a Best Practice Framework for Responsible Whale Watching destinations. The roles will require excellent written and communication skills, including designing and implementing survey questionnaires, calling and writing to whale watching stakeholders around the world, and report writing. Some calls will need to be made during unsociable hours.
Interns will be based at the World Cetacean Alliance office in Brighton, UK.
The internship will last for eight weeks from early July until the end of August. There is also an opportunity to present findings at the World Whale Conference, Azores, 26-30 October.
1. Interns will benefit from the support, experience, and networking opportunities provided by the World Cetacean Alliance and its Partners
  2. Interns will be named authors on the report
  3. WCA will cover the cost of travel (UK to Portugal) and accommodation to attend the World Whale Conference in October to present the findings of the report. This will also be an excellent opportunity to meet and network with people working in the travel industry
Applicants should send their CV and a short covering email describing why they are interested in this internship to Dylan Walker at: before 30 June 2015.
World Cetacean Alliance
Studio 3 Lower Promenade
Madeira Drive
Brighton BN2 1ET
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1273 355011

WORLD WHALE BUZZ is out! Edition of 15 June 2015

Marine mammal news from around the world.
Published by
Art MacKay
15 June 2015
Science Environment Leisure Business Politics Education #whales #whalewatching
Today's headline
Nicolai Wammen, Defense Minister, Government of Denmark: Not to again use the Danish Navy to enable the Grind Pilot Whale slaughter
thumbnail secure­.avaaz­.org - Why this is important Dear Mr Wammen, We, the undersigned, urge you not to - once again - use the Royal Danish Navy to oversee and enable the brutal, unnecessary slaughter of families of Pilot Whal...

224 contributors - featured today:
Read paper →

WORLD WHALE BUZZ is out! Edition of 08 June 2015

Marine mammal news from around the world.
Published by
Art MacKay
08 June 2015
Science Leisure Environment Business Technology Art & Entertainment #whales #whalewatching
Today's headline
Ten whales die off Skye as rescuers save 11 from stranded pod
thumbnail www­.heraldscotland­.com - The pod of 21 pilot whales became beached at Staffin early on Tuesday. All of the mammals were floated back out to sea but several quickly became stranded again at nearby Staffin Island. It is unde...

242 contributors - featured today:
Read paper →

Sunday, June 07, 2015

INDUSTRY: Ship Traffic Densities for Fundy, Gulf of Maine & Scotia Shelf - 2013

This interesting chart from show the densities of ships travelling in the area for the year 2013. Traffic going to Saint John, NB, goes through vital North Atlantic Right Whale summer territory and a key marine nursery area for other  marine mammals and birds, many of which are endangered or listed. The proposed West East Pipeline will see an increase in tanker traffic that can be anticipated to have impacts on these populations.

More ... INDUSTRY: Ship Traffic Densities for Fundy, Gulf of Maine & Scotia Shelf - 2013