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First Edition 2017
Griffith Magazine

Whale watching at work

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Griffith Magazine

First Edition November 2017

When our coastline is threatened, researchers are on hand to ensure something can be done about it.

For years, the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management has worked to provide valuable information on the sustainable management of coastal challenges, helping communities build resilience, protecting the environment and planning for the future.

Their research expertise is so vast it spans coastal engineering, urban catchment, floodplain and water resource management – even whale scientists.

Dr Olaf Meynecke is a passionate marine biologist who has spent his research career working on whales.

“We have, in seven years of hundreds and hundreds of hours of surveys in the bay never seen such a perfect turn by a humpback whale.
Dr Olaf Meynecke, Marine Biologist

Every year, humpback whales migrate along our coastline. Dr Meynecke is on hand to collect data about their behaviour, health and movements, working closely with the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

Surveying the majestic humpback whales as they pass, it’s no wonder Dr Meynecke has captured some amazing and outstanding footage while out on the water using drones.

This breathtaking pirouetting humpback whale display was filmed during courtship, likely between two males and a female, and is extremely unique.

“The pod of three whales was showing very close approaches to each other and diving around each other, including rolling on the surface for hours,” Dr Meynecke tells Griffith Magazine.

“Witnessing pirouetting and watching the whale blow bubbles before going under is a very unique behaviour and to my knowledge this has certainly not been documented in such detail before.

“We have in seven years of hundreds and hundreds of hours of surveys in the bay never seen such a perfect turn by a humpback whale.

“This is more proof that the Gold Coast bay is a resting and socialising, as well as breeding, ground for humpback whales.”

The footage was thanks to https://hoveruav.com.au, the company that supports Dr Meynecke’s research. You can help too by visiting the donation page to support health assessments of whales.

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