HHR  - January-March Newsletter 2018
View this email in your browser

Humpbacks & High-Rises

Whale Tails 2018/1

This is our quarterly newsletter bringing you a summary of the urban marine mammal world. Facts, Stories and Events. Join us on the largest mammal migration on earth!
Quarter Summary 
Whales Ahead! With only a few weeks to go until our gentle giants return we are starting to get ready for Whale Season 2018. 
Whale Season Ahead
by CEO Olaf Meynecke

With only a few weeks to go until our gentle giants return we are getting more and more excited. The past few months we spend cleaning up our gear, replacing lost equipment and participate in a number of events such as the Ocean Film Festival and Clean Up Australia Day. 

It may seem there is less to do when our whales are not around but the opposite is the case. We are in fact still fixing some of the lose ends such as data analyses and cropping fluke images.

There are also still dolphins to be observed during the summer month and we were lucky enough to see common dolphins with babies in the bay in early January. 

We encourage everyone to return and start with us for the whale season 2018. We would love to have you onboard.

Olaf Meynecke
Counting rubbish. During our Clean Up Australia Beach Clean at the Spit we collected around 15 kg of rubbish.
Clean Up Australia Day
by Sarah McCulloch

To contribute to the annual Clean Up Australia Day, on March 4th HHR took to the Spit in Main Beach to conduct our own beach clean-up! We raised over 220 AUD for Clean Up Australia and set up our an info stall at the Spit to chat to members of the public about marine pollution.

We then headed to Main Beach and after only roughly an hour of picking up rubbish along the beach and beside the Gold Coast Seaway we had found an astonishing 15kg of litter. Most of the bulk of this rubbish was from plastic waste and glass bottles. The worst offenders were 168 pieces of soft plastic, 61 pieces of hard plastic, 24 plastic straws, 9 plastic drinks bottles, and 262 cigarette butts! It was a successful effort to make our beautiful beaches and oceans a little bit cleaner, and another reminder that reducing our plastic consumption and reusing/recycling our waste can help keep our marine life healthy into the future.

Some of the best ways to reduce our plastic use include using a reusable coffee cup, bringing your own glass/metal water bottle, refusing plastic straws or bringing your own bamboo/metal straw, using cotton produce bags for fruit and veggies and refusing to purchase produce wrapped in plastics, and of course remembering your reusable shopping bags whenever you shop
Entanglements in shark nets 
by Holly Richmond

Entanglement of marine animals is a global problem affecting at least 120 marine mammal species worldwide. Marine mammal entanglements in fishing gear are a continuous management concern as it leads to the morbidity and mortality of individual species, and is most concern for populations as a whole, in particularly small populations that are threatened or endangered. The east coast of Australia is renowned for its diversity hotspot of marine mammals; including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), short beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis).

The Queensland [QSCP] and New South Wales [NSWSCP] Shark Control Program methods include ~200m wide and 6m deep gill nets, and drumlines that consist of a baited hook. More than one third of humpback whale entanglements are due to the QSCP.

Studies supported by Humpbacks and High-Rises have shown that humpback whale mothers and their calves often rest close to shore during the early hours of the morning, where they then become vulnerable to shark net entanglements. Unfortunately in 2017, 5 humpback whales were entangled in the Gold Coast shark nets (not including self-releases). All but one whale was released alive (fate unknown unless resighted), a 3m humpback calf drowned in the Broadbeach shark net.

NSW removes the shark nets from their waters during peak whale migration to avoid whale entanglements, however QLD refuses to do so. If you would like to help support HHR in the removal of the shark nets in the future, please sign our petition.
HHR board members Holly and Olaf on the stage during the Gold Coast Ocean Film Festival screening. 
Ocean Film Festival 
by Olaf Meynecke

I am a regular at the Ocean Film Festival (for obvious reasons). A while back I asked the organisers for the Gold Coast screening if HHR would be able to have a stall at the event and we were invited. The screening was so popular that two nights were reserved for the event and well over a 1000 people attended.

Lucky we were also asked to help out with the prices on stage and were given the opportunity to talk about HHR during the break. It was fantastic to see so many people interested in our work and in the ocean in general giving me hope that our marine community is steadily growing.

I can't wait for next years festival and hopefully you will see us again on stage and in the foyer.
In memory of Aaron Thurlow 
by Olaf Meynecke

We have received a donation from one of our supporters to help us continue our research and education in Moreton Bay and Gold Coast bay. The donation will be used for research equipment needed to start a new project in Moreton bay to help prevent boat strikes of humpback whales and upgrade some of our other equipment.

Aaron sadly passed away about a year ago and had a deep connection to the ocean and Moreton Bay. The gesture by his Mum to support us in his name has deeply moved me. Myself and the entire HHR board feel honoured to be able to carry out more marine protection in the bay that would otherwise not be possible. 
Upcoming Events & volunteer opportunities

You can help making a difference and be part of our growing group of whale and dolphin researchers. 
  • World Oceans Day is Friday 8th June 2018. We will be sending a message to the whales and writing/drawing our message on a large sheet. The event is followed by a clean up in Broadbeach. Make sure to join and help make a difference. Here is the link the event page.
  • Be part of our dedicated volunteer team and sign up. Whale season starts again end of May 2018 with the first training seminar held in May. Send us an e-mail to to register. 
  • Want to be part of the core team and get the real deal? Join our dedicated team that runs HHR at our monthly general meetings. Held at the end of each month. Next meeting end of April 2018.
  • Sign our petition: You can stop whale entanglements by supporting our Stop whale entanglement letter and request alternative methods to be put in place and developed. Do you know a business on the Gold Coast that would like to endorse the open letter? Please, send us an e-mail.
HHR relies on the interest, support and good will of people who feel that protecting marine mammals and learning about them is important. We are honest, independent and stand for the well being of our natural wonders and a sustainable whale watching industry. Our ongoing work entirely depends on donation. Please, consider donating for whale research and protection.


You can support whale protection and research in south-east Queensland; a small donation goes a long way.


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
F O L L O W on our WEBSITE
Copyright © *|2018|* *|Humpbacks & High-rises|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Humpbacks & High-Rises Inc · Post Office Mail Box 195 · Gold Coast, Queensland 4222 · Australia

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp