Subject: Case Study: Australia Whale Update

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Mon, 18 Nov 1994 12:44:29

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From: WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org
Subject: Case Study: Australia Whale Update
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 18-NOV-1994 12:22:53.08
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Subj:	DEFENCE FORCES CAN'T HELP
 
Date:         Fri, 18 Nov 1994 09:15:16 PST
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
              <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
From:         r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
Subject:      DEFENCE FORCES CAN'T HELP
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
DEFENCE FORCES CAN'T HELP WILLY
   SYDNEY, Nov 15 AAP - The National Parks and Wildlife Service
(NPWS) has ruled out seeking military assistance to rescue a
trapped whale in a river on the New South Wales north coast.
   The NPWS met last week with an Australian Defence Force
representative to see if they could help free the rare tropical
whale, nicknamed Willy, from the Manning River, near Taree.
   But NWPS Executive Director (Operations) Alistair Howard said
Australian Defence Force could not help through its Defence
Assistance to the Civilian community (DACC) program.
   DACC is generally only available in major emergencies when life
and property were threatened or when all other avenues of
assistance had been exhausted.
   "The equipment we need, in fact are already using, is already
available in the civilian community," Mr Howard said.
   The NPWS said more than $20,000 and hundreds of hours in
manpower had been spent on trying to rescue the whale since
September when it became trapped in the river behind a sandbank.
   Mr Howard said netting would remain an integral part of the
rescue operation, but perhaps used in a different fashion than in a
rescue attempt which failed last week.
   "We might try again with nets to shepherd the whale back down to
the bar and try to get it in shallow water for transfer to the
inflatable whale cradle for the tow into town," Mr Howard said in a
statement.
   Mr Howard added that he expected plans would be completed within
a week and the rescue operation would then resume. The interim
meant the whale could settle down again and further observations of
its daily travel pattern could be made.
   He said the event was attracting enormous public support and
sympathy which the service "deeply appreciated".
   "However the most common suggestions advanced are impractical,"
he said.
   "Two months ago we investiaged dredging the river mouth, but the
Public Works Department said the results couldn't be guaranteed for
even 48 hours, before the sand shifted again.
   "As for feeding the animal 200 kilograms of live fish a day --
that's just impossible. For one thing how would you deliver it to
the whale?
   "As for whale courting songs, the tropical whale is so rare,
we've not been able to find any recordings of it communicating."