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Help needed to monitor injured dolphin

News release
27 July 2015
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula is asking the community to assist with monitoring an injured dolphin, freed from an entanglement of heavy duty fishing line last week.

Shack owners first reported sightings of the adult bottlenose dolphin in Kellidie Bay, within the Thorny Passage Marine Park.

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula District Manager, Peter Wilkins said observations the shack owners passed on to the National Parks Duty Ranger were vital.

“The great observations from the community, which included details of exactly where the dolphin was, patterns in its movement around the bay, and the level of entanglement, meant we were able to quickly locate, capture and free the animal,” Mr Wilkins said.

“We gained a visual of the dolphin within 30 minutes of arriving at the scene and once it was located we were able to slowly motor up, assess its behaviour and capture it.

“It then took less than two minutes to cut the fishing line and free the animal.”

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula will continue to monitor the dolphin and ask the community to assist by reporting any sightings.

“The dolphin can be identified by a distinctive notch in its dorsal fin where the fishing line cut through,” Mr Wilkins said.

Eyre Peninsula Marine Parks Regional Coordinator, Dr Shelley Harrison said the Thorny Passage Marine Park is home to an array of amazing creatures including the bottlenose dolphin, which breed and forage in Kellidie Bay.

“The dolphin had a 50 pound braid fishing line, with hooks and sinker still attached, wrapped from its dorsal fin to its tail, which resulted in it not being able to move its tail to swim,” Ms Harrison said.

“This is a timely reminder to anglers to responsibly dispose of fishing line and plastic waste as entanglements and ingestion cause the death of thousands of marine animals every year.”
The South Australian Government is a signatory of the Commonwealth’s National Whale Stranding Action plan and is receiving continued equipment and training support to further develop the skills of on-ground crews to respond to whale and dolphin stranding and entanglement incidents.

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula worked with Dr Cath Kemper of the South Australian Museum, Dr Mike Bossley of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Lincoln Veterinary Centre and PIRSA Fisheries to free the dolphin and would like to thank the shack owners for their attentiveness and reporting.

Please report any sightings of the injured dolphin to the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula office on 08 8688 3111.

If you accidently entangle a marine animal and are concerned about its ability to survive, or find an entangled animal please report it to the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula office during business hours.
Outside of business hours please call Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 or the Eyre Peninsula National Parks Duty Ranger on 08 8688 3223.
For more information on marine parks in South Australia please visit,

More information

Communications Officer

8688 3111