A new dolphin research boat will be put to work immediately, after arriving in Townsville this week.
Dr Isabel Beasley, a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University, is embarking on a long-term research project to collect data on the little-known Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.The boat, jointly funded by WWF-Australia and Tassal, will allow Dr Beasley to survey remote regions of northern Australia, where the dolphins are found.“We aim to first identify areas that may be important for inshore dolphins, and then follow up with intensive surveys to determine abundance and potential threats,” Isabel Beasley said.The snubfin is only a recently described species and very little information exists about population size and distribution.In 2011, WWF-Australia’s application to list the snubfin dolphin as an endangered species was declined because of a lack of information about the marine mammal.“In most parts of the world, inshore dolphins are considered vulnerable because of coastal development, shipping and fishing nets,” WWF-Australia’s species manager Darren Grover said.“We have no reason to believe that snubfin dolphins are any different. They are just as likely to be threatened. But there’s so much we don’t know. We need to know more,” Mr Grover said.Dr Beasley will be working alongside Traditional Owner and Indigenous Sea Ranger groups to monitor both species of inshore dolphins.“Our first expedition will be collaborative surveys with the Girringun Rangers around the Lucinda, Hinchinbrook and Mission Beach regions,” Dr Beasley said.The boat is partially funded by Tassal, Australia’s largest producer and exporter of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon. In partnership with WWF, Tassal is working towards Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.“Sustainability is an important part of everything we do at Tassal. We recognise that Australians are increasingly aware of making responsible choices when choosing their seafood. Supporting this conservation program allows us to help protect our oceans for the future, ” Linda Sams said.
Dr Isabel Beasley, a postdoctoral fellow at James Cook University, is embarking on a long-term research project to collect data on the little-known Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins.

The boat, jointly funded by WWF-Australia and Tassal, will allow Dr Beasley to survey remote regions of northern Australia, where the dolphins are found.

“We aim to first identify areas that may be important for inshore dolphins, and then follow up with intensive surveys to determine abundance and potential threats,” Isabel Beasley said.
The snubfin is only a recently described species and very little information exists about population size and distribution.

In 2011, WWF-Australia’s application to list the snubfin dolphin as an endangered species was declined because of a lack of information about the marine mammal.

“In most parts of the world, inshore dolphins are considered vulnerable because of coastal development, shipping and fishing nets,” WWF-Australia’s species manager Darren Grover said.
“We have no reason to believe that snubfin dolphins are any different. They are just as likely to be threatened. But there’s so much we don’t know. We need to know more,” Mr Grover said.

Dr Beasley will be working alongside Traditional Owner and Indigenous Sea Ranger groups to monitor both species of inshore dolphins.

“Our first expedition will be collaborative surveys with the Girringun Rangers around the Lucinda, Hinchinbrook and Mission Beach regions,” Dr Beasley said.

The boat is partially funded by Tassal, Australia’s largest producer and exporter of Tasmanian Atlantic salmon. In partnership with WWF, Tassal is working towards Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification.

“Sustainability is an important part of everything we do at Tassal. We recognise that Australians are increasingly aware of making responsible choices when choosing their seafood. Supporting this conservation program allows us to help protect our oceans for the future, ” Linda Sams said.