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Reports of vessels harassing dolphins in both our bays raise concern for their welfare.

The Dolphin Research Institute has been inundated directly and through social media, about vessels harassing dolphins in both Port Phillip and Western Port.

TV news even screened a “fluff piece” showing people doing the wrong thing in Port Phillip.  

This also comes in a week where Wildlife Officers are investigating the alleged stabbing of a dolphin in Gippsland.

Our bays are home to resident communities of bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins that share their home with 5 million Melburnians.

“It is remarkable to have these dolphins living in our backyard, when many coastal communities around the world (and Australia) are at risk of losing their resident dolphins”, said Jeff Weir.

“We must respect them by obeying the marine mammal regulations”, said Weir. “It’s not about spoiling the remarkable experience of seeing dolphins, just showing common sense”.

Victoria’s regulations state that “People shouldn’t deliberately approach dolphins closer than 100 metres in boats, 300 metres on Jetskis or 30m for paddlers and swimmers”.

If dolphins pop up close to you or approach your vessel, then ideally stop if safe to do so and watch, or slow down and keep your direction. Enjoy and value our remarkable marine treasures, then let them swim off, without following.

More information about the rules and protecting dolphins are available on the Dolphin Research Institute’s website:

Everyone can help the Institute’s long-term research programs by reporting dolphin sightings. They can also join people who have supported the Adopt-A-Dolphin program for 27 years!  Without community support, the Institute’s crucial research and education programs to protect our dolphins and bays will not happen.

To report sightings and support the Institute: or 03 5979 7100.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Jeff Weir.  03 5979 7100 | 0419 356 388 |

IMAGERY:  Photos and vision of dolphins are available.

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