How do humpback whales cooperate

Protection projects

Stranded or caught in nets, whales need help! 

Every year the migrations of whales on the east coast of Australia are repeated and with each passing year they become more dangerous for these gentle sea giants. 

In the Australian summer months, humpback whales migrate to the Antarctic waters, to their feeding grounds. The Australian winter months are spent by whales in the subtropical Pacific regions off the coast of Queensland. There they give birth to their offspring. In recent years, reports of stranded whales have increased along the Australian east coast. In addition, more and more whales and dolphins get caught in the numerous nets of commercial fishing and die in agony.

Humpback whale populations had recovered somewhat in recent decades after commercial whaling brought the populations to the brink of extinction and a hunting ban came into effect in 1963.

But today the whales are facing new dangers: they end up as unwanted bycatch in the nets of the fishing industry and stranded whales are increasingly found on the coast. The animals can only be saved with quick help. The charismatic marine mammals only have a chance to survive if the whales are freed from the nets before they suffer serious injuries, for example to their fins.

This also applies to stranded whales, which only make it back into the sea with quick help. Our project partner in Australia, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW), had urgently asked us for support in order to be able to provide rescue teams with urgently needed equipment. In addition to boats, special knives and protective equipment for the helpers, telemetry buoys are also part of the rescue equipment, because the circumstances on the open sea are not always suitable for the helpers to cut the whales out of the nets.

For example, if the weather is stormy and the waves are too high, a telemetry buoy can be attached to the net so that the whale can be found quickly once the sea has calmed down. Without the buoys it has been difficult to find the whales, and help often comes too late.

In the meantime, the rescue teams have been optimally equipped with the support of AGA. The project managers can of course also count on the support of AGA in the future. If necessary, we will continue to support this important project work to protect the whales.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all donors, also on behalf of our local partners!