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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A close up of the new satellite location buoy on the deck of a boat.
Innovative whale satellite buoys will assist in disentanglements with an estimated 35,000 whales currently migrating along the WA coast.
Thursday 7 June 2018

Technology breakthrough for whale disentanglements

​Western Australian government scientists have partnered with marine wildlife experts to develop a new whale rescue tool that tracks the real-time location of whales entangled in fishing gear.

The satellite buoy technology allows responders from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to remotely monitor the whale before safely attempting a disentanglement.

Ten trackable buoys have been provided to specialist whale disentanglement teams at strategic locations between Esperance and Broome, including three in Perth.

The technology was developed by our Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development scientists, with $73,000 funding from the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy. The Western Rock Lobster Council has provided $20,000 for the purchase of the 10 buoys.

Whale disentanglements from lobster fishing gear have steadily decreased from 17 in 2013, to six in 2017 due to gear modification.


Last modified: 7/06/2018 12:23 PM

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