About this document
These protocols will enable authorised personnel responding to stranding events to undertake sampling in a manner that is consistent throughout Australia. They are designed to provide samples in the best possible condition for analysis by those scientists working in specialised areas.
Standardised methods and a prioritised order for collecting biological samples from stranded cetaceans will maximise the opportunity presented from often otherwise distressing and unsuccessful events involving whales and dolphins.
Note: The collection of samples from cetaceans should only be undertaken by authorised personnel. Permits are required from state, territory or Federal government agencies prior to collection of samples of any kind from a live or dead cetacean and in most instances from state governments for movement of samples between states and into and out of Australia from the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage.
These protocols have been developed by Damien P Higgins and Michael J Noad of Uniquest Pty Ltd. and the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage through funding provided by the Natural Heritage Trust.
Their development follows consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and are designed to provide a national standard for the collection of samples from stranded cetaceans. It is hoped that the protocols will assist in productive, coordinated research across a broad spectrum of scientific investigation, and make maximum use of events where animals are not able to be returned to the sea alive.