PADBURY wildlife officer Doug Coughran has today been honoured with a new State Government boat being named after him.
Mr Coughran, who died in March, dedicated much of his life to developing whale rescue techniques that have been instrumental in improving outcomes for entangled whales and are practised around the world.
In 2010, his achievements over three decades were formally recognised when he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to conservation and the environment.
Named D K Coughran, the 10.5m vessel was designed and built in Henderson and will replace three ageing boats currently used by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
Doug Coughran was a great Western Australian who worked in @WAParksWildlife for 36 years, and dedicated his life towards developing whale entanglement rescue techniques. Proud to help launch the new marine life protection vessel named in his honour alongside his family this week. pic.twitter.com/rzCK1bQ9mB
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) November 2, 2018
It will be tasked with responding to marine mammal incidents, managing the commercial whale watching industry and patrol duties, operating within the Swan Canning Riverpark as well as the wider waters of the Marmion and Shoalwater Islands marine parks.
Premier Mark McGowan said Mr Coughran was a “leader and innovator who worked on behalf of the community and all wildlife”.
“I was lucky enough to have met Doug when I was Environment Minister in 2006 and his passion and love for his work as a wildlife officer were evident,” he said.
“It is fitting a vessel employed to assist with protecting marine life is named in Doug’s honour and will be used by many of the DBCA staff who Doug trained and mentored.
“His significant contribution to the protection and conservation of this State’s marine animals was outstanding.”