Big boost for Ningaloo research
A successful whale shark-tagging program off the Ningaloo coast will receive a $400,000 boost.
BHP Billiton last week announced the extra funding, which will see the Ningaloo Outlook research program, run in collaboration with the CSIRO, increase whale shark monitoring and research capabilities.
The funds will enable researchers to deploy five more satellite tags each year for four years to collect data on the whale sharks’ movements and ecology.
BHP Petroleum senior environment and regulatory specialist Tim Cooper said the extension of the program came on the back of encouraging results from research last year.
“Those results will go straight into understanding the movement and ecology patterns of these megafauna that roam the ocean and provide information for better conservation and management outcomes,” he said.
“What we’ll be doing with that info is to load it up on to a free public access website so people can see where the sharks are.”
Mr Cooper said scientists would continue to take skin samples for molecular population studies.