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The cover photo of from the article "Whales in our Waters". Click here to read the article online.
Photo: Chris Johnson

April 24, 2001
Using Media to Make a Difference
  Real Audio

Log Transcript

This is Genevieve Johnson. Captain and Expedition Leader, Iain Kerr along with some members of the Odyssey crew, were recent visitors to the Papua New Guinea National Museum in Port Moresby. We were invited to deliver a multi-media presentation to an audience that included Government Ministers, Ambassadors and Embassy Officials and members of the public.

The purpose of our presentation was to help ensure that the scientific research conducted onboard the Odyssey be broadcast publically, and our findings disseminated clearly. By alerting the public, the media, policy and decision-makers about the presence of whales here in Papua New Guinea, we hope to assist in highlighting the importance of the ocean and its inhabitants for not only ourselves, but future generations.

Multimedia has proven to be one of the most effective methods of linking the frontiers of marine science to people all over the world, creating awareness while inspiring them to value whales and the oceans.

Not long after our museum visit, we were impressed to read a newspaper article in 'The National', entitiled 'Whales in our waters'. Journalist Martin Liri had attended our museum presentation. His attendance culminated in an article, which was not only enlightened and articulate, but most importantly will help Papua New Guineans to learn more about 'their' oceans and the animals that live there.

Martin Liri wrote, "Many other Papua New Guineans could also be forgiven for thinking like {Visiting Marine Biology Student } Iain Liviko. It won't be surprising if they consider whales as creatures from the movies, which can only be found in other countries. Not so, as the RV Odyssey and its crew have found out. In their recent survey, they discovered that PNG waters are a haven for whales, especially the endangered sperm whale."

Mr. Liviko, a Marine Biology student from Port Moresby who joined the Odyssey on a recent survey leg and had stated that before the Odyssey arrived in the waters of Papua New Guinea, he believed whales were only found in the temperate or polar regions of the world.

Many Papua New Guineans live by the sea. With so many people dependant upon subsistence agriculture and fishing, the lives of many villages are tied directly too the sea. Their maritime skills have been refined and passed down through generations and are quite extraordinary. Therefore, we have been a little surprised at the lack of knowledge about the presence of whales here. But perhaps this is not so surprising when you consider the remoteness of many of the villages and the fact that formal education is not compulsory here. We feel it is more important than ever that we use mainstream media and resource materials to share our knowledge and findings with as many people as possible.

Read the article, "Whales in Our Waters", in the NATIONAL, a Papua New Guinea national newspaper.

Log by Genevieve Johnson

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