Dr. Peter Gill
The team from Blue Whale Study are on the hunt for Blue Whales – but in a good way. An aerial survey was recently conducted to locate blue whales to get an idea of how many are visiting the region.
The Blue Whales are listed as endangered and they come to feed on the krill which is in abundance due to the Bonney Upwelling phenomenon happening offshore along the SW coast of Victoria.
‘We saw nine blue whales during our survey’, said Dr. Gill. ‘This time of year in past seasons we have sighted 30 or more feeding offshore at this time of year, but during the last 4 years the numbers have been very low. This may be because changes in ocean conditions are causing the whales to visit other feeding areas’.
Blue Whale Study is dedicated to the research and conservation of the blue whales and Dr. Gill is world renowned for his expertise of blue whale ecology and the Bonney Upwelling habitat. ‘It is vital we get more data on the visiting whales and we plan to go out in the research boat to get closer to them over the next few weeks’.
Blue Whale Study has received funding from Warrnambool based and interstate philanthropic organisations to conduct the aerial surveys (2 of) and at least 9 days ocean based surveys.
‘It is terrific that this year we have a Deakin University marine science student with us who is keen to help us locate and photograph the whales’.
Media Contact Details:
Dr. Peter Gill
Senior Research Scientist
Blue Whale Study
C/- Post Office
Narrawong Vic 3285
Ph: 03 55 295207