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The Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans (ORRCA) is the most experienced and successful whale rescue organisation in Australia. It is also involved with the protection and welfare of seals, sea lions, dolphins and dugongs. ORRCA is the only wildlife carers group in NSW licensed to be involved with marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation and release, and works with NPWS and other government agencies in this effort. The organisation trains its members and government agency staff in rescues, and also monitors, assists with and gives advice on entanglements and incidents.

Everyone in ORRCA is a volunteer. Members come from all walks of life, age groups and nationalities. ORRCA runs public education programs and has active research in place, such as the Annual Whale Census, which members of the public can participate in, to better understand the problems that marine mammals encounter and to discover possible solutions and favourable outcomes.

ORRCA operates a 24 hour/7-day-a-week Marine Mammal Hotline - (+61 2) 9415 3333 where members of the public can report sightings of distressed and injured marine mammals. The Hotline is staffed by volunteers and keeps ORRCA members, government authorities and interested members of the public informed of marine mammal emergencies, incidents and sightings.

ORRCA is a non-profit organisation with charity status. Membership is open to all and enquiries are welcome, please visit the ORCCA website.


The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is one of the world's leading international animal welfare organisations and is widely recognised as a driving force for whale conservation and the growth and development of responsible whale watching worldwide.

IFAW’s Humpback Icon Project has seen communities and councils across Australia’s adopt their own humpback whales. Through this project, communities have the opportunity to learn more about the humpback whales that migrate through their local waters every year. IFAW also leads the annual National Whale Day. Each year, towns across Australia participate in the day, holding community events to demonstrate the importance of whales to their community, and the need to protect them.

IFAW supports non-lethal whale research in Australia and across the South Pacific by supporting the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, which conducts research into humpback whales in the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Tonga, Fiji and Niue.

IFAW also promotes whale watching as a sustainable alternative to whaling throughout Australia, New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands, and has worked alongside whale watch tour guides and governments to develop guidelines for responsible whale watching practices.

IFAW is a registered charity. For more information on the work of IFAW and getting involved, please visit the IFAW website.

  • NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
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