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Terri Irwin Project May Help Stop Whaling
By Wendy Heller, December 27, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Thedaily.com.au

The wife of the late Croc Hunter said the project was an extension of the family’s whale watching business and would carry on Steve’s legacy.

“Steve always had a sense of wanting to do something for whales, as a surfer and having filmed in the ocean,” she said.

“He saw whales as such big and intelligent mammals and such an integral part of the ocean ... and that was why, after we lost Steve, we wanted to set up the whale watching business to get whales into people’s hearts more.”

Terri said the idea to conduct whale research in the southern ocean came about after Oregon State University Professor Bruce Mate got in touch with her following a research trip to Antarctica.

She said Prof Mate had tagged a humpback whale, which he named Steve, and tracked its movements.

“It took off faster and went further than any other whale they tagged, which is just like Steve, and later we got a certificate showing the passage it had taken through the ocean and details of where it was tagged, the date and time, and it was ironic because it was tagged on February 22 – Steve’s birthday,” Terri said.

“I’m not a person who believes in coincidence, so I knew this was something we should look into further.”

She said by tagging and tracking whales, researchers could produce a viable count of whale numbers, which could eventually offset whale hunting.

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