C2009-0005 Humpback whale research - impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise, including seismic airgun noise

Cetacean permit application C2009-0005
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 10 August 2009

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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 specifically for a permit to conduct scientific research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Australian waters, under which the applicant is seeking to develop a better understanding of how anthropogenic underwater noise affects humpback whales, including seismic airgun noise. Also to develop non-invasive methods of studying the physiology of baleen whales.

The application is for close approach to whales to within 100m, collecting biopsy skin samples, exposing whales to underwater sounds for the purpose of gauging their reactions to sound, attaching suction cup tags, taking fluke photographs, collecting mucus for the blows of the whales, and implanting satellite tracking tags.

The permit is requested to begin on 01 August 2009 and finish on 31 December 2009.

In accordance with the provisions of section 237(3b) of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on this proposal before COB Tuesday 25 August 2009.

Comments can be sent by email to Leonie.hodsdon@environment.gov.au or in writing to:
The Director
Cetacean Policy and Management Section
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

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