Stranded dolphin

Photo © Parks and Wildlife

Whale watching

Western Australia is one of the best places in the world to see whales as they migrate up and down the coast. Rules apply to whale watching, and it is important to follow these to ensure whales are protected and continue to visit our coastline.

Stranded whales or dolphins

Department of Parks and Wildlife officers are usually the first people called to a whale or dolphin stranding.

If you see a stranded or distressed whale or dolphin call the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055.

What you can do:

  • Put your safety first.
  • Call the Wildcare Helpline (08) 9474 9055 – a Parks and Wildlife wildlife officer will arrive as soon as they can.
  • While waiting, try not to make much noise.
  • Keep the animal’s skin moist with buckets of water if possible, avoiding the blowhole.
  • Listen to and follow the wildlife officer's instructions.

What NOT to do:

  • DO NOT put the safety of yourself or others at risk.
  • DO NOT stand close to the tail or head.
  • DO NOT attempt to push the animal back out to sea – this will only add to its suffering.
  • DO NOT apply sunscreen even if the animal’s skin is burnt.

Whale entanglements present complex and dangerous situations that require specialist skills and training if the whale is to be released safely and unharmed. The above video is designed to promote the Code of Practice and help fishers gain an understanding of whale entanglement rescue techniques, so they can play their part in helping rescue a whale, with safety as a priority.

Information on strandings for common Western Australian whales and dolphins

Whale entanglements