Vision diagram
Monkey Mia dolphin and calf Photo © Wildimagenation

Western Australia’s coastline spans more than 13,500 km and is home to some of the world’s most remarkable ecosystems and marine wildlife, including massive whale sharks, humpback whales and several threatened species of sea turtles.

Many of Western Australia’s marine plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world.

The marine waters from Shark Bay to the South Australian border contain extensive rocky reefs home to a large proportion of species unique to southern Australia, such as the Australian sea lion and leafy seadragon. These waters protect wonders as diverse as the world’s most extensive seagrass meadows and the world’s largest population of dugongs in Shark Bay Marine Park, the 2000 year old stromatolites in Hamelin Pool Nature Reserve, and thousands of offshore islands providing important breeding areas for sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, little penguins and seabirds.

Tips for conserving marine life

  • When boating, ‘go slow for those below', especially over seagrass beds, shallow areas and in channels where dolphins, turtles and other marine wildlife feed.
  • Anchor in sand to protect fragile reef and seagrass communities.
  • Support a ‘Clean Marine’ environment and save marine animals from a slow death. Take your rubbish (such as discarded fishing gear, bait straps and plastic bags) home, and if you find any rubbish floating at sea or on the coast, please pick it up.
  • When in a marine park ‘know your zones’. Some zones are set aside as sanctuaries where you can look but not take. (These areas are fantastic spots to go snorkelling as they have especially abundant marine life.)
  • If you find a stranded, sick or injured dolphin, turtle, whale or seabird, please call the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s (DPaW's) 24-hour Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.
  • If you find a tagged turtle or other animal, please note the number and contact DPaW. The information collected is used to better manage and protect WA’s marine wildlife populations.Also contact DPaW if you  find a dead marine mammal or turtle.
  • Fish for the future. Stick to the fish size, bag and possession limits set by the Department of Fisheries and help protect our fish, some of which are unique to to the state.
  • Stay at least 100 metres from whales. Approach whales parallel to their direction of travel

Two guides have been produced byDPaW, with financial support from ExxonMobil Australia, to provide information about Western Australia’s significant or threatened animals, including how to report marine animals in distress, and how to assist DPaW by reporting sightings of these marine animals.

  • WA Oiled Wildlife Response Plan and Pilbara Oiled Wildlife Response Plan Release

The Western Australian Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (WAOWRP) and the Pilbara Region Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (PROWRP) were released on 08/09/2014 and 27/10/2014 respectively as working documents for six months prior to a review of the documents. The WAOWRP and PROWRP are joint plans produced by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Parks and Wildlife) and the Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC) on behalf of the petroleum industry. These plans provide guidance to all Oiled Wildlife Response in state waters and can be used as guidance for commonwealth waters surrounding WA for both Parks and Wildlife and petroleum titleholders.

Any questions or feedback regarding these plans can be directed to Dr Stuart Field at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   pdfWestern Australian Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (WAOWRP)2.68 MB

   pdfPilbara Region Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (PROWRP)3.85 MB


Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Marine turtles in Western Australia Thursday, 02 March 2017 12:41
Whale carcass management Wednesday, 26 April 2017 10:23
Whale sharks Monday, 03 November 2014 13:48
Whales and dolphins Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:01