Protecting our bay’s dolphins takes requires understanding the risks through research and delivering change through education and working with the community and government. This is what the Dolphin Research Institute has done since our formation in 1991.
Early research showed that the resident bottlenose dolphins frequently used the Point Nepean area as a place to feed and congregate. It is also a place that is calm on southerly blows so boats love to speed very close to shore. The satellite image above shows that the beach drops off to deep water very close in, providing assistance to dolphins herding fish.
The Institute worked with the state government to have this area proclaimed as the Ticonderoga Dolphin Sanctuary in 2004.
Vessels are required not to approach dolphins closer than 200m within the sanctuary which stretches from Observatory Point to Police Point.
Elsewhere in Victorian waters vessels may not approach dolphins closer than 100m (jetskis 300m).
Whale and Dolphin Watching Regulations
Please obey the minimum cetacean approach distances: See HERE
Dolphins: 100m boat, 300m jetski. Whales: 200m boat, 300m jetski.
Download regulations HERE. What to do if you find a stranded dolphin, HERE
Ticonderoga Bay gets its name from the “fever-ridden” Ticonderoga carrying over 800 people to Victoria in 1852 at the peak of the Gold Rush. About 70 people died and were buried at Point Nepean. The living were quarantined until they had a clean bill of health.
It was used as a quarantine station until the mid 1900’s and then the army took it over for officer training and a school of army health. Anecdotes from soldiers at the time, talk of “dolphins putting on displays alongside army parades with full brass bands”.
The Dolphin Research Institute is a registered charity. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Please consider making a donation or becoming an Adopt-A-Dolphin supporter.