The better part of this tangent goes down to friendship. I have been friends with Dr Olaf for many years being a past flat mate, cried and laughed together and have even fought real fires (seriously – no joke). A scientist filled with passion for the marine environment turned advocate is putting his intellectual property to real use.
His marine mammal research organisation Humpback & Highrises brilliantly bridges science, tourism, the community and Gold Coast’s skyrocketing urban landscape. It links eager marine biologists and citizen scientists with whale watching, where they capture flukes (the tail of whale) for photo identification that is matched with ongoing monitoring.
Despite peer reviewed science proving that the Gold Coast bay is an important resting ground for the east coast Humpback Whale migration. State Government officials and the City of Gold Coast continue to sit on their hands and watch whale after whale get caught in the infamous sharks nets.
This isn’t good enough.
Here we have a million dollar whale watching industry that double dips during the migration yet change persistent decision-makers hesitant to remove the nets during migration times due to fears of shark attacks… and once a whale gets caught, it’s either a fatal scene or released under very stressful conditions. This process consumes resources that could be spent elsewhere – maybe the Commonwealth Games fund – especially time and advocates’ time to discover other research gaps and needs to protect nature’s wonders.
It’s simple… PLEASE REMOVE THE SHARKS NETS! Follow Humpback & Highrises!