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HMSC Science on Tap: Discovery, documentation and conservation of New Zealand blue whales

Discovery, documentation and conservation of New Zealand blue whales

by Leigh Torres, The Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafuana Lab (GEMM Lab) Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University

Prior to 2013, blue whales in New Zealand waters were considered transient. Yet, in 2017, the NZ government started calling for a blue whale sanctuary in the country’s most industrial marine region. How did this transition happen in just four years, and how can we ensure that conservation efforts are effective? This talk will take you along my journey from a hunch, to discovery, to documentation of a unique population, and my experience in court rooms and with seabed mining permit applications, the role of NZ politics, interactions with the media, our data collection and analysis efforts to describe blue whale behavior and ecology, our attempts to understand impacts of industrial activities, and my advice and hopes for the development of effective conservation strategies to protect these kiwi blue whales. Grab a drink and some grub, while I tell you this tale and show you how a blue whale grabs its grub. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Rogue Ales & Spirits, Boardroom 2320 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Community, Faculty and Staff, Student





Hatfield Marine Science Center
Contact Name

Cinamon Moffett

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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