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Hervey Bay-ers paddle for humpbacks

August 20, 2012

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The 2012 ‘Paddle out for Whales’ saw hundreds of people take to the water off the coast of Hervey Bay and move into formation to protest the hunting of the city’s famous visitors.

The event has been described by one of the organisers Amanda French as a media stunt, in the hope of raising awareness of whales being hunted in the Southern ocean.

“The whole objective of it is to raise awareness and to have a positive protest,” Amanda says.

Leading the paddle out was ironwoman Hayley Bateup and conservationist Bob Irwin.

In the 2012 season, 267 whales were caught and killed by the Japanese Fisheries Agency in the Southern ocean. The agency abandoned the hunt after catching less than 30 per cent of their quota.

Each year humpback whales pass by Hervey Bay on their migration north to calve. Whale watching on the Fraser Coast is worth approximately $70 million to the local economy.

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