WORLD renowned author, researcher and whale activist Greg Kaufman will be the special VIP leading Pacific Whale Foundation's whalewatch tours during the month of August, in honor of the Hervey Bay Whale Festival.
Kaufman is an international humpback whale expert who pioneered benign whale research in the late 1970s and was a champion in the international movement to put an end to whaling.
He is also the founder of Pacific Whale Foundation, an international non-government organisation supported by nearly four million people worldwide.
He has written four books about whales, along with dozens of scientific papers, publications and journal chapters, based on more than 35 years of studying whales in the field.
Kaufman and his research team will lead whalewatches throughout the month of August in honor of the Hervey Bay Whale Festival, offering insightful commentary and expert interpretation of the whales' intriguing behaviors.
The cruises will take place each morning on Pacific Whale Foundation's vessel Explorer out of Urangan Harbour. Whale sightings are guaranteed, or guests get a free ticket to go again free.
The cruise will also include opportunities to listen to live whale songs transmitted via hydrophones, a free Jr. Naturalist program for children and complimentary morning tea, plus a free colour whalewatch guide, prepared by Pacific Whale Foundation's research and education team.
Kaufman is also a featured speaker at the Hervey Bay Making Waves Lecture series on Wednesday August 22 at the University of Southern Queensland, Old Maryborough Rd, Pialba, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
He will be giving a talk and slide show entitled, "The Recovery & Importance of Hervey Bay's Humpback Whales."
"Greg offers two or three whalewatches each year in Hawaii; they are booked well in advance by enthusiastic whalewatchers who appreciate the unique perspectives and insights that he offers," says Andrew Ellis, Operations Manager at Pacific Whale Foundation's Australia office.
"Even if you've been whalewatching dozens of times in the past, you'll come away with new knowledge about the whales, thanks to Greg's extensive experience around these 40-tonne marine mammals."
Greg Kaufman's efforts to protect whales began in the 1970s; he traveled throughout the United States and Europe, educating the public about the plight of endangered whales and demanding an end to commercial whaling.
In 1975, he travelled to Hawaii, the primary mating and calving area for humpback whales of the North Pacific, and began some of the first non-invasive field studies of the behavior of live whales in the world.
Kaufman founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980 and committed his new organization to educating the public from a scientific perspective about whales and their ocean habitat.
Since then, Kaufman has been a world leader in addressing whale protection issues, and has pioneered responsible whale- and dolphin-watching programs throughout the Pacific.
He is widely acknowledged as an innovator and leader in marine ecotourism. Kaufman's work on humpback whale research has taken him to every corner of the Pacific and has resulted in the most complete and extensive catalog of humpback whale fluke identification photographs in the Southern Hemisphere.
Kaufman has studied humpback whales in Australia since 1984, and first came to Hervey Bay in 1987 to conduct field research and provide support to the developing whalewatch ecotourism industry.
He has returned nearly every year, to study whales and add to its catalog of more than 6,500 individually identified humpback whales.
More recently, Kaufman was an invited scientist participant in the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee Meetings since 2009.
He is an active member of the Southern Hemisphere Whale Stock Assessment, Whalewatching and Bycatch subcommittees.
Kaufman was also the keynote speaker at a United Nations Environment Programme workshop on whalewatching in the Caribbean during the fall of 2011.
Earlier this year, he traveled to Patagonia, Chile, to participate in "Living Whales in the Southern Ocean: Advances in Methods for Non-Lethal Cetacean Research," a symposium and two accompanying invitation-only, closed door workshops.
The event was sponsored by the International Whaling Commission and the governments of Australia, the United States and Chile, Oregon State University, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Centro De Conservacion Cetacea, and hosted by the Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP).
The aim of SORP is to develop a multilateral, non-lethal scientific research program that will improve the coordinated and cooperative reporting of science to the International Whaling Commission.
Pacific Whale Foundation shares data and findings from Pacific Whale Foundation funded studies of whales in Australia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Tonga with the SORP working group.
Pacific Whale Foundation is offering educational whalewatches in Hervey Bay, to help raise funds for its ongoing research in Australia.
Whale sightings on these special cruises are guaranteed, or you get a free ticket for a regular Pacific Whale Foundation whalewatch.
The price is $85 for adults and $75 students and seniors. Children ages 7 to 12 are $42.50. Children ages 6 and under go free. Book online at www.pacificwhale.org/au and save 10%. Pacific Whale Foundation Members save 20%.