Hervey Bay’s scientifically proven importance as a stop-over destination for migrating humpback whales has cemented the city as one of the world’s preeminent whale watching destinations.
Here travellers and locals can experience the whales frolicking in a totally relaxed state, taking a break during their 5000km journey from the feeding grounds in the Antarctica to the breeding grounds in the Tropics.
In preparing for the World Whale Conference in Hervey Bay in October, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events is working with the Fraser Coast Regional Council in developing a whale sculpture to reinforce the importance of whales to the region.
“As a community we need to recognise that our actions impact their world and we rely on their world to sustain ours,” FCTE general manager Martin Simons said yesterday.
“Let the whales epic journey inspire us to make an epic change as a community.
“As individuals, we can make choices to reduce our ecological footprint, but as a community, the impact of our collective shift can be profound,” he said.
FCTE is a co-sponsor of the world conference with the World Cetacean Alliance – an organisation that works with 106 partners in 38 countries to reverse the trend of ever-increasing human impact on cetaceans.
Hervey Bay is vying to be declared the world’s first Whale Heritage Site which will be decided at the conference, held between October 7 and 12.
The theme of the conference is “Journeys that inspire change” and the sculpture will be a unique way for Fraser Coast to be involved in support of that initiative, said Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour.
“It will be an opportunity for people to show their support for our efforts to have Hervey Bay listed as the world’s first Whale Heritage Site.
“We can all have a hand in protecting these magnificent creatures. It is as simple as ensuring your rubbish goes in a bin, so it does not end up in the ocean.
“Building the sculpture from bamboo helps promote the use of sustainable materials, that can be recycled and re-used many times,” Cr Seymour said.
The sculpture will become part of the annual Hervey Bay Whale Festival program and unveiled on the Scarness foreshore during the World Whale Conference.
The project will focus on the protection of the cetacean habitat and follow notable examples around the world where communities have been mobilised to collect ocean-destroying plastics or eco-friendly materials to create art that helps change human behaviour.
The Community Arts Project was officially launched on 28 July where the public were invited to get involved in creating this fantastic art piece.