New signs protecting Whyalla's dolphins
New informative dolphin signs have now been installed at Whyalla’s marina and foreshore along with a suite of new educational signs on sharing the foreshore and the importance of the local environment.
14 July 2020
The new dolphin signs were coordinated by local Landscape Officers, in partnership with the Whyalla Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service SA, and the Whyalla Barngarla People.
Landscape Officer, Barbara Murphy said bottlenose dolphins regularly frequent the Whyalla marina and are inquisitive towards vessels and people around the boat launching facilities.
Observing dolphins in the area is a popular activity, however interfering with their natural behaviour by feeding them can result in serious long-term impacts.
“It can cause the dolphins to become accustomed to fishers and boats, which increases the chance of collisions or becoming entangled in fishing line. It can also alter their natural feeding behavior and can stop adult dolphins from teaching their young how to hunt wild fish,” Ms Murphy said.
The Whyalla community have been lobbying for new signs to protect the local dolphins and with the new jetty being built it was the right time to install new signs to clearly identify that feeding or interfering with the dolphins is not allowed.
National Parks and Wildlife Service Senior Ranger, Lana Roediger said that feeding and touching dolphins is prohibited under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, Protected Animals Marine Mammal Regulations 2010.
Penalties can apply if people do not adhere to the regulations.
“Sea-craft operating inside the marina should keep to the 4knot speed limit and follow a direct course to a berth or the boat ramp and should not actively deviate towards a dolphin,” Ms Roediger said.
It’s nice for locals and tourists visiting our city to observe dolphins in their natural environment. We encourage people to do the right thing, for the long-term benefit to the Whyalla dolphin population.
Anyone wishing to report a distressed dolphin or an incident involving a marine mammal within the marina waters or on the coast of the Eyre Peninsula are encouraged to call the Eyre District Duty Ranger on 8688 3223.
The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board will soon release more funding opportunities for communities and encourages community organisations to apply for Grassroots Grants to undertake projects that impact positively on Eyre Peninsula’s natural environment.
For more information on the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board and the Grassroots Grants program, visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/home