Marine Mammal Incident Response Training Popular at the World Whale Conference
The organising team of the 2019 WCA World Whale Conference were thrilled to have been able to facilitate a community focused marine mammal rescue workshop in Hervey Bay.
The day long program was run by the New South Wales based Organisation for the Research and Rescue of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) in consultation with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and sponsored by local family run business, FC Smash Repairs owned by Liz and Jeremy Carter.
“We were so excited to be able to offer this workshop to delegates and the local community,” said Sharyn Taylor, one of the conference organisers.
“Not only were we able to facilitate a relevant workshop, given the increase in stranding events we are seeing globally, we were also able to assist in moving forward the working relationship between ORRCA volunteers and incident management authorities in Queensland.
Additionally the marine mammal rescue discussion within the local Hervey Bay community has been reignited and we are proud to have pushed that conversation along.”
Attendees at the workshop participated for a variety of personal and professional reasons but all shared a common passion and desire to learn more about how to help our precious marine life. They were from different backgrounds, came from both coastal and inland regions and included PhD students, a wildlife rescuer, a local Hervey Bay family, an Adjunct Associate Professor, whale watching operators and a number of animal welfare advocates.
The program involved a morning theoretical session followed by a practical mock stranding on the beach in the afternoon. All participants left with an ORRCA membership, allowing them to attend marine mammal stranding events (under direction of authorities in QLD), a certificate of completion and a robust manual provided on a sustainably sourced wooden USB stick.
“Most importantly we were left empowered with a greater understanding of the legal requirements when responding to a cetacean stranding or entanglement scene. We learned about the hazards, the serious risks and the extreme emotions that can be involved when attending these incidents, as well as the ethical and legal reasons behind the difficult decisions made by authorities at these unfortunate events.” said Sharyn.
For more information about strandings, entanglements and their management in Queensland, Australia please visit the Department of Environment and Science at