Do’s and Don’ts of Whale and Dolphin Stranding’s

It is now whale migratory season and local fisherman and the public are urged to be vigilant of the possibility of whale and dolphin encounters.

It is important that if fishers and the extended community come across an entangled whale or stranded animal to report it to your State Environment Department immediately. For the Western Australian community, officers from Parks and Wildlife Services (formally DPAW) respond to whale and dolphin strandings.  If you see a stranded or distressed whale or dolphin call the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055.

At all times during whale and dolphin strandings all members of the public must follow the direction of Parks and Wildlife Services staff. These staff members are empowered under the CALM Act and Wildlife Conservation Act to take control of situations where marine animals are in distress. They also have access to veterinarians who can give expert advice on the prospects of the animal.

In no circumstances should members of the community attempt to push stranded animals back out to sea. Parks and Wildlife experience has shown they will re-strand, causing severe stress, injury and death.

In Western Australia (WA) it is an offence to touch or herd marine animals, accordingly, members of the public should not interfere with whales and dolphins unnecessarily.  There are laws in place to protect marine animals, failure to observe the directions of Parks and Wildlife Service staff can result in substantial penalties with infringements issued to people who decline to cooperate.

WHAT YOU CAN DOWHAT NOT TO DO
1.tickTHINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY FIRST1.crossDO NOT PUT YOUR SAFETY OR THE SAFETY OF OTHERS AT RISK
2.tickCALL THE WILDCARE HELPLINE ON (08) 9474 9055 – AN AVAILABLE OFFICER WILL ARRIVE AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY2.crossDO NOT STAND CLOSE TO THE TAIL OR HEAD
3.tickWHILE WAITING FOR ASSISTANCE, TRY NOT TO MAKE MUCH NOISE3.crossDO NOT TOUCH THE ANIMAL MORE THAN NECESSARY – DO NOT PUSH OR PULL ON THE FLIPPERS, FLUKES OR HEAD, OR COVER THE BLOWHOLE
4.tickKEEP THE ANIMAL’S SKIN MOIST WITH BUCKETS OF WATER WHERE POSSIBLE4.crossDO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUSH THE ANIMAL BACK OUT TO SEA – THIS WILL ONLY ADD TO ITS SUFFERING
5.tickLISTEN TO AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE WILDLIFE OFFICER5.crossDO NOT APPLY SUNSCREEN EVEN IF THE ANIMAL’S SKIN IS BURNT

For further information please see the following link:

https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/marine/marine-wildlife/64-whales-and-dolphins