Posted on: September 21, 2011

PWF to Present Free Talk in Eden, New South Wales, Australia

Learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation's whalewatch tours in Australia and our Australia whale research. 

Why do humpback whales take a break from their migration to spend time feeding off the coast of Eden? What factors influence whether the whales will stop to feed? How does climate influence this behavior?

Greg Kaufman, the president and founder of Pacific Whale Foundation, as well as the lead researcher of Pacific Whale Foundation’s East Australia humpback whale research project, will present a fascinating look at the feeding behaviors of humpback whales off Eden during an upcoming free talk at the Sapphire Coast Discovery Centre, located at the Wharf at Snug Harbour, Eden. The talk will take place on Friday, 30 September 2011 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

The presentation is open to all, with a gold coin donation to benefit Sapphire Coast Discovery Centre. It will include slides and video of feeding whales observed off Eden's coast.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s study of feeding humpback whales off Eden’s coast began in 1995, and is part of an extensive humpback whale research effort conducted by Pacific Whale Foundation along Australia’s eastern seaboard for 28 years. Data off the coast of Eden is collected by Pacific Whale Foundation researchers stationed on the commercial whalewatch vessel “Cat Balou,” and onboard Pacific Whale Foundation’s research vessel. Pacific Whale Foundation's research is conducted under Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Cetacean Permit 2011-03 (issued under the EPBC Act of 1999) and a Office of Environment and Heritage NSW Scientific Licence, SL100195.

“During our fifteen years of observation, humpback whale feeding was recorded every year, except in 2001,” says Mr. Kaufman. “A total of 4,852 humpback whale sightings were recorded, with 857 (17.7%) showing feeding behavior.” Mr. Kaufman will be discussing findings from this research and Pacific Whale Foundation's ongoing fluke identification programs. He will also discuss the connectivity of Eden humpback whales to whales in breeding areas along east Australia and the whales' feeding areas in Antarctica.

The goals of Pacific Whale Foundation's research efforts in Eden will also be presented. Earlier in 2011, Mr. Kaufman presented a scientific paper to the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee based on data from Eden. Titled "Mid-migration humpback whale feeding behavior off Eden, NSW, Australia," it reported on humpback whale feeding opportunistically at low- to mid- latitudes in known breeding grounds and during migration in east Australia -- an area where this has been observed more regularly than anywhere else in the world. The paper also reports on the frequency and behavior of feeding humpback whales off Eden, New South Wales (1995 -2010).

Pacific Whale Foundation is a NGO that is based in Hawaii on the island of Maui, with field offices in Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Queensland, and Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. The mission of Pacific Whale Foundation is to protect our oceans through science and advocacy. Pacific Whale Foundation has conducted humpback whale research in Hawaii, Australia, Ecuador, Japan, Alaska, Tonga and other parts of the Pacific. Mr. Kaufman founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980 and has since written four books about humpback whales.

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre (SCMDC) is a multi-faceted Centre comprising a Marine Education and Research Centre, together with a Marine Discovery Centre, on the Far South Coast of NSW. The Discovery Centre promotes understanding of oceans and coasts by offering learning and knowledge experiences. The Discovery Centre is located at The Wharf Building, Snug Cove, 253 Imlay Street, Eden NSW 2551. For information, please phone +61 2 6496 1699.