The Kimberley explored…barely
We have been documenting the coastline and the marine species and meeting with key stakeholders in the Kimberley for the last week. So far we have explored Broome up to Cape Leveque. And with the Kimberley region being the same size as California, that means we made it from San Diego to Orange County… long way still to go. The only problem is that there are no roads along the coast, no organized ferry or boat service and runways are limited to red dirt strips. We have investigated a boat trip, but that takes time to arrange and is expensive. Yeah – expensive. Breakfast for 4 (eggs and coffee) was $102 at the Aarli in Broome, a local hangout. And our sandwiches to go, with wedges, was $72 the other day. Beer is $23 for a 6-pack. That is what happens when the Ore and Gas guys show up. So we are focused on Broome, Roebuck Bay and the Dampier Pennisula for now. And you can see where we have been on the map below, which shows the area between Broome and Derby. Mitchel Falls and Wyndham will be on the next trip by boat.
Simon Allen from Murdoch MUCRU is with us along with his biopsy gun and kit. He is guy who documented the “potential new species” up here much to the delight of the the NO GAS crowd here in Broome. He is awesome like his fellow MUCRU Lars Bejder – they know the place, the people and most of all the marine mammals in the Timor Sea. They are great partners to have in a place this big. And we are hoping to get back on the water off James Price Point to search for the pigmy spinner dolphin that was recently featured in the Australian. Check out Simon’s picture on the cover page.
We have updated our citizen science map (still in beta) for the Southern Kimberley coast. Check it out below. There are a few videos from Broome-based NGOs about the marine protected areas recently designated and the continual battle against the planned Woodside LNG plant. Just click on the slider bar to zoom in, then click the icons for pictures and videos of the Kimberley, its people and power.
Finally, we continue to meet with local NGOs and individuals about our citizen science work here. The response has been very positive and almost everyone says they already have pics from a boat trip here and there of killer whales off the coast or snubbies near the beach. We just need to collect and load them on the map before we go.