During the World Whale Conference 2019 in Hervey Bay, the WCA recognised individuals making an outstanding contribution in their field of interest to ultimately improve the lives of cetaceans. WCA wishes to acknowledge and highlight the dedication of these individuals and groups who are striving to make positive change. We do this to appreciate efforts and promote excellence.
A total of 15 awards were announced during the final day of the conference. Recipients were given the opportunity to enter their abstracts or anyone could nominate a worthy project prior to the conference. From an award committee shortlist, conference delegates were then invited to make some tough choices and vote for the winners!
The WCA Conference Committee also recognised Drs Trish and Wally Franklin of the Oceania Project for their outstanding commitment of over 30 years spent researching the Australian East Coast Humpback Whale Population and for the protection of cetaceans and the ocean. The youngest conference presenter, 9-year-old Aeon Bashir of Aeon for Ocean, was recognised for his commitment to inspire positive human behaviour change amongst the youth to protect our oceans.
The Board of Trustees also recognised the dedication of four individuals who have tenaciously supported and promoted the WCA over the past few years.
Inspiring change in human behaviour to benefit cetacean conservation
Winner: Roberta Dixon-Valk, Take 3 For The Sea
Runner up: Lloyd Edwards, Raggy Charters Marine Eco-Cruises
Creating positive change for cetaceans through innovation and leadership in responsible tourism
Winner: Mercedes Reyes, Whale Wise Eco Tours & Research
Runner up: Helga du Plessis, The Bluff – SODURBA / WildOceans
Inspiring positive change for cetaceans & their environments through community initiatives
Winner: Sergio Cipolotti, Humpback Whale Institute/ Instituto Baleia Jubarte
Runner up: Jan-Olaf Meyncke, Humpbacks & High-rises
Innovative conservation or research project protecting cetaceans and their habitats
Winner: Richard W Dolan, Tails of Stellwagen, Boston Harbor Cruises, New England Aquarium
Runner up: Ted Cheeseman, HappyWhale
WCA Board of Trustee’s Ambassador Award:
- Clive Martin, Founding Partner
- Lloyd Edwards, Raggy Charters Marine Eco-Cruises
- Sharyn Taylor, Melbourne Dolphin
- Sophie Lewis, WCA Secretariat
A special thanks goes to Hervey Bay local Liz Carter of FC Smash Repairs and Blue Cove Days Everyday, Forever for sponsoring the awards.
The WCA would like to congratulate all nominees and the 2019 winners.