We enlist citizen scientists, a vital collaboration between researchers, conservationists and the public, to help execute projects and collect data.



Volunteer Pacific Whale Foundation Eco Adventures Australia

We accept volunteers who would like to join our whale watching tour to assist our Naturalists and Captain, as well as log information using the Whale and Dolphin Tracker. Volunteers are provided with an Induction, training to use the Whale and Dolphin Tracker app and methodolgies of collecting data, and training regarding Pacific Whale Foundation’s research.

If you are a local resident, or visiting Hervey Bay, and would like to contribute to our mission and learn more about healthy oceans and ocean advocacy, please contact us.

Please be aware that images taken on board whilst in volunteer capacity are the property of Pacific Whale Foundation and as such Pacific Whale Foundation holds copyright over these images.



We invite Hervey Bay visitors and residents to clean an area and report debris collected using the Australian Marine Debris Database by Tangaroa Blue. With six Clean-Up Hervey Bay events annually, as well as a Clean-Up event during the Hervey Bay Whale Festival, there are lots of opportunities to get involved and help to keep your patch clean. Free clean-up kits are available from our Ocean Store year-round.

The Problem

Marine debris is essentially any human-created waste found in ocean environments. Most of this debris originates from land-based sources.  Plastics and other materials that resist natural degradation comprise a large degree of marine debris and are of particular concern. Debris in our oceans kills and injures wildlife, spreads invasive species, leeches pollutants and endangers human health. Our conservation commitment includes monitoring, collecting and reporting marine debris while helping to keep Hervey Bay’s parks debris-free.

The Work

In 2024 we launched the Clean-Up Hervey Bay campaign as a community science program to raise awareness and encourage public involvement in the monitoring and removal of debris. Our partners in this effort include local community groups, schools and volunteers.

How You Can Help

  • Attend one of our Clean-Up Hervey Bay events OR pick up your FREE clean-up kit from the Ocean Store.
  • Participate in the local clean-up or clean an area you determine to be of importance.
  • Download the Australian Marine Debris Initiative app, create an account and upload data about the debris that you have removed from the environment.



Share your photos of dolphin dorsal fins and humpback whale flukes with our Research team for inclusion in our photo-ID database.

Photo ID Catalog

Help us monitor cetacean life-history traits, population trends and habitat-use patterns to better understand and conserve marine mammals. Photo-identification of whales and dolphins is a critical aspect of Pacific Whale Foundation’s long-term research on cetacean health and threat mitigation strategies. Photo donations that meet our criteria will be logged and added to our photo-ID database for ongoing monitoring of whale and dolphin populations in dedicated research locations.

While on the water, keep an eye out for spouts, tail flukes and dorsal fins. If you see a humpback whale, photograph the underside of the tail (the fluke). If you see a dolphin, photograph the dorsal fin and sides of its body.

Review and upload your photos – Carefully review photos from your ocean adventure and upload the images that best meet our photo-quality criteria.

Send us your photos
Fill out the Photo Donation Form if your photo(s) meet the program requirements.
Photo donations are for any species from any region.
Email to research@pacificwhale.org
You will receive a confirmation email stating that we successfully received your photo donation.


Pacific Whale Foundation’s Whale & Dolphin Tracker app collects scientific data about marine wildlife from around the world. The sightings map displayed is user-generated and these sightings represent where users of the app are reporting their on-water sightings of whales and dolphins.

This map displays the previous 7 days of sightings in near-real time and does not rely on tagged whales. The app is free to use and open to all users who would like to add their own whale and dolphin sightings when they are at-sea. You can use the species and date filters to view sightings from the past 12 months. The Whale & Dolphin Tracker app is designed to record on-water sightings of marine wildlife from locations worldwide.


Download the app from the App Store or from Google Play