New agreement on non-lethal whale research

Australian Antarctic Division Director Nick Gales (right) and Dr Kang Joon Seog of the South Korean National Institute of Fisheries Science, signing the Memorandum of Understanding on non-lethal whale research.
Australian Antarctic Division Director Nick Gales (right) and Dr Kang Joon Seog of the South Korean National Institute of Fisheries Science, signing the Memorandum of Understanding on non-lethal whale research. (Photo: Glenn Jacobson)

Australia and the Republic of Korea signed a new agreement to promote scientific collaboration on non-lethal whale research in March.

The agreement, signed in Hobart by the Australian Antarctic Division and Korea’s National Institute of Fisheries Science, aims to promote non-lethal whale studies and improve methods to reduce the accidental capture of cetaceans by the fishing industry.

Leading research techniques, such as satellite tagging and genetic mark recapture, will improve estimates of abundance, trends, movements and dispersal patterns of marine mammals in Korean coastal waters.

The new agreement will gather data on cetacean-fishery interactions, ecosystem modelling, sighting survey design and marine mammal tourism, which will be fed into the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific and Conservation committees.