The Australian Government is preparing to embark on a Southern Ocean research voyage this summer that will undertake important research on endangered whale species in our area.
The Government has committed $1.1 million to the research voyage.
The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) will join with Antarctica New Zealand and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), who are leading the six week voyage.
The team of international scientists will use underwater acoustic technology to listen for humpback and Antarctic blue whales around the Balleny Islands and in the Ross Sea.
The research will seek to investigate whale ‘hot spots’ in the region, as well as to gather critical information about the populations, abundance and distribution of whales, particularly the endangered Antarctic blue whale.
The Australian Government believes that all information necessary for the contemporary conservation and management of whales can be obtained using non-lethal research methods.
The whale research component of the voyage is part of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to the International Whaling Commission’s Southern Ocean Research Partnership.
The voyage will depart from Wellington, New Zealand in January 2015.