Blue Whales Across Australia

Pygmy blue whale surfacing (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda). Photo credit M.Jenner

Pygmy blue whale surfacing (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda).
Photo credit M.Jenner


CWR is beginning a non-stop 4000km long blue whale research voyage across the bottom of Australia travelling from Fremantle to Sydney. The voyage is undertaken as part of mobilising the RV Whale Song for an Australian Defence Department exercise on the east coast, and will be the second of the Centre’s “Acoustic Profile” voyages aiming to map marine noise, including both man-made and biological, all around the Australian continent.  Of prime interest to the Centres’ scientists are cetacean distribution hotspots.


Passage plan A for the Southern Australian Acoustic Profile.

The first of these discovery voyages between Fremantle and Darwin focused on humpback whale distribution and illuminated the Ningaloo Reef area as a hotspot for this species. Now focussing on the region between Fremantle and Sydney, the voyage coincides with the peak feeding period for pygmy blue whales along the southern Australian coastline.  Despite knowing this timing for this important annual event, there has never been an attempt to map the location of all the feeding areas from coast to coast.

Follow the voyage of the RV Whale Song as her scientists examine the health of the ocean off southern Australia, as measured through the success of the pygmy blue whale population.


Pygmy blue whale alongside R.V Whale Song.
Photo T.Jenner