The 2016-17 blue whale research season got off to a late start but is now well underway. Our core programs for this season are the Marine Science Youth Mentoring Program, our continuing blue whale photo-identification program, and our aerial survey program. This is the fourth time since 2010 we have conducted the Mentoring Program, which continues to be popular with local high schools. In essence, the schools selected four students who are joining us for four days of boat-based research on the Southern Ocean south of Portland, searching for blue whales as part of our long-term photo-ID work. They learn the basics of seamanship and boat handling, insights into the ecology of blue whales and other fauna of the Bonney Upwelling, and an introduction to marine science methods with a focus on cetacean research. Our aim is to provide a unique opportunity that will encourage local youth to consider a future in marine or environmental science in our region. The program is funded by the Isobel and David Jones Family Foundation of Warrnambool, the W.V. Scott Estate and Australian Geographic Society.