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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 24-hour Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.
  • If you find a tagged turtle or other animal, please note the number and contact Parks and Wildlife. The information collected is used for research and monitoring programs to better manage and protect WA’s marine wildlife populations.Also contact Parks and Wildlife 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 fisheries department 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, and follow the rules for whale watching.

Marine wildlife identification guides

Two guides have been produced by Parks and Wildlife, 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 in their management by reporting sightings of these marine animals.
Discover fun facts about WA's marine wildlife.

Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Be Seal Wise Monday, 01 May 2023 09:11
Marine wildlife response Tuesday, 07 June 2022 15:02
Swimming with humpback whales Thursday, 25 June 2020 15:22
Whale carcass management Thursday, 16 September 2021 09:51
Whale watching Monday, 20 July 2020 11:14