Ship flotilla follows whales

A FLOTILLA of ships will sail from the North Coast next month to draw attention to marine conservation.

The vessels will leave Brunswick Heads and follow the migration of humpback whales up the east coast on National Whale Day, June 2.

The flagship of the fleet is the 13.7m ketch Migaloo 2 - named after the white whale first spotted off Byron Bay in 1991.

Byron Bay documentary maker and activist Dean Jefferys has organised the event, which is called 'Sailing the Winds of Change 2012 and Beyond'.

Mr Jefferys said each yacht would represent an issue such as climate change, whaling and deforestation.

"Marine conservation will be the focus but we also want to highlight other issues like the effects of coal seam gas, deforestation and dredging on the Barrier Reef," Mr Jefferys said. The fleet will stop at ports along the way to showcase films and workshops about local and international issues.

Mr Jefferys, who is also a documentary film-maker, will create a 'whale channel' to stream footage live on the internet as well as live broadcasts during the five- month journey.

"I will film any interaction that happens with the whales because they always come and join the boats," Mr Jefferys said.

"The Sea Shepherd have also donated flags to us and we will be linking up with lots of different Sea Shepherd groups along the way."

The high cost of the trip means Mr Jefferys is trying to raise $30,000 in donations.

For more information or to contribute, go to www.migaloo2.com.



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