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The Oceania Project's
Whale Research Expeditions
in Hervey Bay: 1989-2013


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The Oceania Project - Inspiration and conception


Trish and Wally's interest in Cetacea and the Oceans began in 1976 and was inspired by their friend Peter Shenstone who was a founder of, and is still actively involevd in PlanetArk

They undertook extensive research into the history of whales and whaling and the current global status of Cetacea. In particular the issues most likely to influence the survival and conservation of the species. That work was the basis and motivation for Trish Franklin to found The Oceania Project in 1988.

The Oceania Project's 1st Whale Research Expedition to Hervey Bay took place in 1989. In 1991 Wally became fully committed to The Oceania Project.

By late 1992 they had conducted three succesful Expeditions to Hervey Bay and implemented a long term Photo-identification research study of the Hervey Bay Humpback Whales.

The study was developed in consultation with the Queensland Environment Protection Agency and is and will continue to contribute to the management and monitoring of Humpback Whales in the Hervey Bay Marine Park.

Trish and Wally Franklins research on humpback whales is receiving international recognition with outcomes of the research being published in Marine Mammal Science and other scientific journals.

study group

Trish aboard Moon Dancer in 2001 reviewing the days photo-id work with Expedition Assitant, Dan Burns (right) and Interns Kathrin Scheier, Pixie Stevens and Olive Andrews (left). PHOTO: Daniel Bayer.

Olive Andrews has since Graduated in Marine Sciences from Southern Cross University, is Executive Director of the Pacific based NGO Whales Alive and a Marine Mammal Consultant to IFAW Oceania.


Since his season as Research Assistant with The Oceania Project in 2011, Dr. Dan Burns has been awarded a PhD for his study of humpback whales off Ballina, NSW. As a Post Doctoral Fellow with the Southenrn Cross University Whale Research Group he is involved in the FlukeMatcher program.



Nala (LEFT) has been observed in Hervey Bay on a regular basis with new calves since 1992. Wedgewood (CENTRE), here photographed by Trish in 1996, shows exceptional breaching skill to her new calf China. Birrichino (RIGHT) which means 'playful child' is Yolanda's 2001 calf, while her 1996 calf Floppy has been photographed in Hervey Bay in 10 of his 13 years. Photographs by Trish Franklin.
NalaWedgewoodWedgewood

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