birding-aus Blue Whales

Subject: birding-aus Blue Whales
From: "John Seebeck"<>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 12:30:19 +1000
   I'm responding to Geoff Duggan's email concerning 'The Knowledge' of
Blue Whales off Portland.  Cetacean biologists have most certainly been
aware for  many years of the presence at times of this species off SW Vic,
due mainly to reports from the pelagic birding trips, but this is the first
time that any coordinated investigation of this group has been initiated.
It is easy to say 'We have been seeing them for years', but if the reports
were formally entered into the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife and not just
left on chatlists or similar it would be of much assistance.  One thing
that we don't want to see is uncontrolled visual exploitation by commecial
whale watch boats, at least  until we have a better understanding of the
likely effects of such activities on the whales.  Peter Gill's work will be
central to this understanding, so helping him by maintaining good records
when birdos do see Blue Whales would be great.  NRE is shortly to introduce
a Whale Watch web site as part of its Online Service Delivery and that will
provide a very easy mechanism for records such as these to be incorporated
into the Atlas.   I'll keep you posted.  John Seebeck, NRE Flora and Fauna
Statewide Programs

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