Photo-Identification and Aerial Surveys of Humpback Whales - Eastern Australia - Pacific Whale Foundation

Cetacean permit application C2008-0004
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, August 2008


About the application

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has received an application for a permit to interfere with cetaceans under Part 13, section 237 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

This application is for a permit to conduct a project that involves cataloguing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Commonwealth waters during their migration along the coastline of eastern Australia from Port Douglas Queensland to Eden, NSW. The applicant seeks to document the status of the east Australian Group V population of humpback whales, adding to Pacific Whale Foundation's catalogue of photo-identification and life history data on this population.

Through this project, the applicant aims to clarify the importance of the Whitsunday Islands and Hervey Bay for migrating humpbacks, particularly mothers with calves.

Part of this project will entail some interference with humpback whales. The applicant proposes to make close approaches (up to 40m) to photograph individual animals, take video and audio recordings, and conduct aerial surveys flown at an altitude of 300 metres.

The permit is requested to begin on 1 September 2008 and finish on 1 September 2013.

In accordance with the provisions of section 237(3b) of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on this proposal before COB 5 September 2008.

Comments can be sent by email to or in writing to:

The Director
Cetacean Conservation Section
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

See also