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World whale experts to visit Hervey Bay in October next year


Dates for the 2019 World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites Summit have been announced with the events running across October 7 to 11 in Hervey Bay.

Fraser Coast Tourism & Events General Manager Martin Simons said winning the right to host the prestigious event, expected to attract up to 200 whale and dolphin experts from around the world, presented exciting opportunities for the region.

“It’s a chance for delegates to see for themselves that Hervey Bay is one of the best places in the world to watch humpback whales because they stop here for up to 10 days to rest, play and socialise,” he said.

“They’ll be here to learn about work already underway to protect whales and dolphins and share ideas, evidence and information on best practice.

“We can also introduce the visitors to our other natural attractions such as Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island and the Great Sandy Biosphere while also promoting the heritage charms of Maryborough.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor George Seymour said the conference and summit were a perfect fit for Hervey Bay because they were aimed at everyone interested in marine conservation and ecotourism.

“Tourism is an important driver of the economy and safeguarding our natural assets so they can continue to be enjoyed by future generations, along with allowing the industry to continue to grow and prosper, is of paramount importance,” he said.

“Our whale fleet is full of experienced operators who are dedicated to protecting these giant mammals.

“At the same time, the industry is committed to giving people the chance to experience the delight and awe of seeing these magnificent creatures up close in the wild and to learn more about them.”

Cr Seymour said the theme of the conference was Journeys that Inspire Change and topics included promoting sustainable whale and dolphin tourism and maximising the power of cetaceans to inspire positive change in human behaviour to protect the oceans.

The event will be hosted by FCTE and the World Cetacean Alliance which is the world’s largest partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Mr Simons said work was also continuing to have the Fraser Coast recognised by the World Cetacean Alliance as a Whale Heritage Site to cement its reputation as a responsible and sustainable whale watching destination.

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