Established in 1988 by Trish & Wally Franklin, The Oceania Project is a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of whales, dolphins and the oceans. A long-term study of the Australian Humpback whales is the major work of The Oceania Project.
This research has been made possible by individuals who participated in The Oceania Project's Internship Program and generous Public donations.
More than 1,700 people joined the Annual Whale Research Expeditions as Interns between 1989 and 2013.
Presently, there are five ongoing research programs. One of which is a Photo-identification survey, commenced in 1992, to provide data for the study of the behavior, social dynamics and social organisation of Humpback whales. Trish Franklin's observations and photo-id data have already made a significant contribution to documenting the recovery of the Australian Humpback whales following their near extinction due to commerical whaling in Antarctica.
Trish has taken and analysed over 70,000 Photo-identification data images. Her Fluke Catalogue consists of over 3,000 individuals, the largest digital data archive on Humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. This research has enabled Trish to document the life histories of nearly 600 individual Humpback Whales; many of whom we have come to know extremely well as they migrate annually up the east coast of Australia.
Information obtained from these research programs adds to the body of knowledge about Humpback whales and also directly contributes to the Australian Cetacean Management and Monitoring Program.