Permit to conduct scientific survey on humpback whales in Commonwealth waters off Pender Bay, WA using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Cetacean permit application C2010-0004
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, August 2010

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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 for a permit to conduct scientific survey on humpback whales in Commonwealth waters off Pender Bay, WA using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

The applicant is seeking to undertake the survey using UAV replacing manned aircraft to determine whether UAV systems can improve aerial survey methods by: (1) eliminating human risk, (2) increasing accuracy of detection, location and identification of species, (3) providing a permanent record of the survey, (4) reducing cost, and (5) enabling surveys in remote areas.

The permit requested will cover a three year period to allow the repetition of data collection. The survey is proposed to commence in August until end of September and a further trial will not be conducted before 2011.

In accordance with the provisions of section 237(3b) of the EPBC Act, you are invited to comment on this proposal before COB 10 September 2010.

Comments can be sent to me by email on epbc.permit@environment.gov.au or in writing to:

The Director
Cetacean Conservation Management Section
GPO Box 854
Canberra ACT 2601