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Dolphin workshop for the Gold Coast


Zuleika Henderson
21 May 2010
Residents of the Gold Coast and Tweed are invited to attend a workshop to learn more about the region’s dolphins next Friday, May 28.

The ‘Dolphin Sighting Network’ workshop will be held at Gecko House in Currumbin and is aimed at equipping dolphin-lovers of all ages with the knowledge they need to help with an ongoing research project led by Southern Cross University to monitor dolphin populations.

The research has been set up as part of the University’s Dolphin Ecology and Acoustic Project and is led by Dr Liz Hawkins, who said the community had a vital part to play.

“We know from reports from local people that there are some resident dolphins in this area but all our knowledge is very anecdotal at this stage – with the help of the community we can do some official research to get a real picture of these populations of dolphins,” said Dr Hawkins.

“We are calling on everyone in the area to report their dolphin sightings, and if possible send us their photos of the individual dorsal fins, which helps us build up a valuable database of information.

“The aim of the workshop is to offer a basic course in dolphins and observing dolphins, so people who attend will learn what behaviours to look for, and what information is useful to us as researchers if they happen to observe these animals in the wild.

“We are inviting children and families to get involved too – kids are very insightful and it’s a fun thing to do when you’re out fishing with mum and dad.”

Attendees to the workshop will receive certified membership to the Dolphin Sighting Network, a handbook, regular updates on the progress of the research and invitations to social events.

Dr Hawkins said the Gold Coast and Tweed were of particular interest to the researchers.

“There’s been no research done on the dolphin populations on at the Gold Coast and Tweed, and yet it’s a region of particular interest because the animals are living in a diverse environment,” said Dr Hawkins.

“It’s also an area where there are multiple resident species, including the Indo-Pacific dolphin which is found throughout tropical Australia and has its southern-most limit at Tweed and the Gold Coast.

“We are very interested in getting some baseline information in this area and with the help of the community we can achieve that.”

The Dolphin Sighting Network workshop will be held on Friday, May 28 at Gecko House, 139 Duringan St, Currumbin. Participants can choose to attend a session from 2-4pm or from 6-8pm.
The cost of the workshop is $25 or $60 for a family.

Bookings are essential and can be made via the website at by emailing [email protected] or by calling the dolphin research centre on 0488 551 165.

Photo: A dolphin workshop will take place at Currumbin on the Gold Coast on May 28 (high resolution image available on request)