Our Clients

As a leader in cetacean research, and with specialist expertise in aerial and boat-based surveys of cetaceans, the Blue Whale Study is at the forefront of marine consulting.

Blue Whale Study’s clients include Commonwealth and state government agencies, non-government organisations, offshore and onshore industry, and documentary film industry. Our advice has been sought on cetacean risk assessment and mitigation for offshore industrial and onshore aquaculture projects, seismic surveys, and management and recovery plans.

Large cetacean aerial surveys have been the backbone of BWS’s long-term research program into the ecology of blue whales and other cetaceans.  With over 20 years of experience, BWS are specialists in aerial survey of cetaceans along the continental shelf between Tasmania and the Great Australian Bight.


Beach Energy 2020  |  Review of blue whale occurrence in Otway Basin, VIC

RPS Group
 |  2019-2020  |  Marine mammal aerial surveys for offshore windfarm environmental assessment, Bass Strait, VIC
BWS have been engaged to undertake aerial surveys across central Bass Strait to determine marine mammal occurrence in an area proposed for a major renewable energy project.

Yumbah Aquaculture2018 |  Marine mammal risk assessment for abalone farm proposal, Allestree, VIC

BioPower  |  2014  |  Staff training in cetacean identification, Wave energy proposal, Port Fairy, VIC

WHL Energy   |  2013-2014  |  Large whale aerial surveys, Otway Basin and staff training in cetacean identification

Bight Petroleum   |  2011-2013  |  Large whale aerial surveys, Great Australian Bight

Origin Energy  |  2010-2012  | Large whale aerial surveys, Otway Basin, VIC

OceanLinx  |  2008  |  Marine mammal risk assessment, offshore wave energy proposal, Portland, VIC

Beach Petroleum  2007  |  Large whale aerial surveys, Bonney Upwelling

Santos Ltd   |  2002-2007  |  Blue whale aerial surveys, development of aerial survey protocol, Bonney Upwelling and Great Australian Bight


Commonwealth and state government agencies have sought BWS expertise to review numerous plans and strategy documents relating to blue whale management and conservation, including whale watching guidelines and regulations. Our expansive knowledge and expertise on blue whale ecology, cetaceans of the Southern Ocean and the Bonney Upwelling has been sought by various non-government organisations  Consultancies have included the review of whale conservation and management documents and the preparation of scientific publications.

Australian Marine Mammal Centre |  2014  |  Research paper on Blue Whale relative abundance and upwelling variability, Bonney Upwelling

Australian Marine Mammal Centre
 |  2012  |  Blue whale aerial surveys, Bonney Upwelling, Antarctic Blue Whale Project

Commonwealth Environment Department 
1999 – 2007  |  Blue whale aerial and boat-based surveys, Bonney Upwelling

South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
 |  2015-2016 | Large whale aerial surveys, Great Australian Bight Research Project

International Fund for Animal Welfare
 |  2013-2014  |  Cetacean diversity in Southern Australia

International Fund for Animal Welfare 
 |  2013  |  Study of blue whale/prey interactions in the Bonney Upwelling.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society 
2004 |  Review of blue whale occurrence in Bonney Upwelling from Blue Whale Study survey data. 


BWS scientists have vast experience working as marine fauna observers on numerous marine science voyages in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic waters, platforms of opportunity on inter-island ferries and aboard seismic vessels. Covering northern and southern marine environments of Australia, North Island New Zealand, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, the breadth of professionalism and capacity and the depth of marine mammal knowledge and understanding ensures client confidence and high level reporting.


Documentary filmmakers such as the ABC’s Natural History Unit seek Blue Whale Study’s expansive scientific and logistical advise when filming blue whales and the Bonney Upwelling. We were Principal Consultant to the unit during their filming of The Big Blue, and advised on blue whale ecology, krill and the region’s ocean ecology and the research and planning of filming expeditions and locations. Our field expertise was sought during the several months of filming at sea.