$500,000 boost for dolphin research

Media release
12 June 2014

The Australian Government is delivering on a key election commitment to provide $250,000 to both Sea World and Victoria’s Dolphin Research Institute for research into threats facing dolphins so that we can better manage these iconic species.

Dolphins are loved by Australians and are a feature of our marine environment, yet we have a poor understanding of their conservation status, the threats they face and how to best manage them.

Australia is a world leader in the conservation and protection of dolphins and Sea World is recognised internationally as a leader in marine research. This important funding will help to develop and strengthen this vital research.

To ensure the management of these species continues to reflect world best practice and is based on the best scientific evidence, the Australian Government has developed a Dolphin Conservation Plan as part of a broader commitment to protecting whales and dolphins.

Around 14 species of dolphin are found in Australian waters, and many of these are found in inshore areas such as bays and estuaries.

Species occurring close to urban and industrial developments are subject to a variety of pressures such as poor water quality, vessel strike and ecotourism. Species occurring in more remote areas have been and, in some cases, continue to be affected by fisheries operations.

The important research by Sea World and others under the Dolphin Conservation Plan will help to conserve and protect these species.

Areas that Sea World may focus on include the conservation status of the Australian snubfin dolphin and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and the impacts of ecotourism on dolphins.

This funding to Sea World for dolphin conservation research is part of the Government’s election commitment to implement a $2 million Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan.

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