New Zealand blue whales topic of talk


Science on Tap Nov. 13 at Rogue

Discovery, documentation and conservation of New Zealand blue whales will be the topic of the next Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Science on Tap event, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Rogue Ales’ Brewer’s on the Bay, located at 2320 SE Marine Science Drive in South Beach.

The presenter will be Leigh Torres, with Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute.

Prior to 2013, blue whales in New Zealand waters were considered transient. Yet, in 2017, the New Zealand 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?” asks Torres. “This talk will take you along my journey from a hunch, to discovery, to documentation of a unique population, and my experience in courtrooms and with seabed mining permit applications, the role of New Zealand 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.”

Doors open at 5:15 p.m., and the presentation will begin at 6 p.m. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and early arrival is recommended. Food and beverage will be available for purchase from the regular menu. 


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