Whale of a paddle-out for Kirra

Mark Clough and Nicole McLachlan are looking forward to celebrating whales and dolphins on National Whale Day.
Mark Clough and Nicole McLachlan are looking forward to celebrating whales and dolphins on National Whale Day. Colin Gilmore

WHALE populations off Australia's eastern-seaboard are increasing, says Sea Shepherd Queensland co-ordinator Mark Clough.

But Tweed-based volunteer and campaigner Nicole McLachlan hastens to add there is still only 10% of pre-commercial whaling populations.

With this in mind the inaugural Gold Coast Paddle Out for the Whales takes place from the Kirra Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday.

Mr Clough said his conservation society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare were hoping to mirror a similar event Hervey Bay had hosted for the past couple of years.

"The event's main objectives will be to celebrate the commitment to whale protection as well as encourage responsible behaviour on the waters around whales and dolphins.

"The Gold Coast has so many beautiful beaches and is home to so many locals that really respect the ocean and all of its inhabitants.

"So the event will be a great way for ocean lovers everywhere to come together on National Whale Day."

The event will also feature entertainment, a variety of guest speakers, food, information, prizes, a raffle and a family sand castle competition.

Miss McLachlan said besides joining in the paddle she would lead children's activities so parents could concentrate on the event's serious side.

"My main aim is to create awareness among the youth of the area," the passionate whale and dolphin welfare campaigner said.

"We should have more events like this so people can participate in and celebrate the ocean."

To join in register on the day from 8.30-10am with a gold coin donation.

Email queensland@seashepherd.org for more information.

Topics:  kirra, sea shepherd conservation society, whales



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