Current Research

Areas of cooperative research where the oil and gas industry and Australian Defense Department seek advice about their interactions with cetaceans. The 200 to 1000m depth contours are highlighted as current management blindspots in need of study.

This section describes in more detail the types of research the Centre has been involved with over the past 15 years and the directions we are heading in. The studies are primarily boat based, either from our inflatables or sailing catamaran. As is typical and necessary with cetacean studies, these are long term projects spanning years rather than months.

What has been particularly gratifying with respect to this work is the current need for the information we collect brought about by the introduction in 1999 of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act. The research work that we conducted before 1999 that had a “pure science” objectives, has since taken on an “applied science” role that allows us to give teeth to our adage, “How many whales did you save today?”.

Both the oil and gas industry and the Defense department have taken pro-active stances in Western Australia in terms of managing their activities with respect to the needs of cetaceans. The Centres’ research is now geared towards advising these groups, and the Federal government, in relation to the spatial and temporal needs of various species of cetacean found within the Australian EEZ.

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