Queensland environmental company, Fumunda, is making waves worldwide with their latest innovation in marine mammal saving technology which is set to be adopted by KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board in South Africa.
Natal Sharks Board have jumped on board to become the latest country outside Australia to place orders for the new cutting-edge pingers. Also showing interest in the new whale-saving devices is the Western Australia Pearl Fishing Industries.
Samples of the new F3 Whale Pinger have also been delivered to the US National Marine Fisheries Service who are keen to trial the Pingers in Alaskan waters where large numbers of migrating Humpback whales pass by commercial fishing nets.
General Manager of Fumunda, James Turner said that fishing net bycatch is a major animal welfare problem, killing an estimated 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises each year.
Fumunda, part of the Titley Scientific Group, designs and manufactures marine acoustic alarm devices, commonly known as pingers, which are used to prevent the incidental entanglement and subsequent drowning of marine mammals in fishing nets. The new Pinger was designed specifically to alert Humpback whales and utilises new technology, operating on a low frequency which is easily heard by Whales.
“The new pinger sends out a low-frequency signal which is right in the best hearing range of Humpback whales ” James said.
The F3 Whale Pingers are the latest in a series of pingers from Fumunda designed to protect marine mammals. Fumunda also produce the F10 Porpoise and F70 Dolphin pingers which are in use by commercial fishers around the world.
“Pingers not only will prevent the unnecessary deaths of countless marine animals but also benefit fishing industries by reducing the costs associated with replacing and repairing damaged nets,” James said.
“Having our new whale Pingers used in international waters is a huge feat for us and we are hoping that other countries will follow suit,” James said.
This break into the international market follows the company’s success from last year, when the Queensland Government added the whale-saving pingers to the shark nets that line the beaches of Queensland. The whale pingers are also in use on shark nets in New South Wales.
Former Queensland Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland, Tim Mulherin said that the State would continue using the new pingers during this year’s whale migration season after last year’s decline of entanglements.
For more information about Fumunda or their new range of marine mammal-saving pingers, please visit www.fumunda.com or call 07 5450 2764.