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Dolphin Watching

Dolphins frequently visit the harbour, so have a look for them while you're on Victoria Quay.

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Dolphins frequently visit the harbour, so have a look for them while you're on Victoria Quay.

Resident Indopacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) are prevalent in the Fremantle area all year round. They are highly active, social animals that live together in pods. Bottlenose dolphins can live for more than 30 years. 

Dolphin sightings

The Swan River Trust runs  Dolphin Watch as a part of the River Guardians program. Dolphin Watch enables volunteers to register as River Guardians and collect photographs and data on the location and behaviour of dolphins. 

Dolphin research

Fremantle Ports is helping to ensure the long-term conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the metropolitan area by providing significant funding towards the Coastal and Estuarine Dolphin Project. This collaborative project, led jointly by Curtin University and Murdoch University, is studying the health and ecology of the dolphins in the Swan River, Inner Harbour and Cockburn Sound, with ongoing support also provided for Dolphin Watch. In addition, Fremantle Ports undertakes specific studies in relation to development projects. 

What you can do to help

Become a River Guardian and register on the Dolphin Watch website. If you spot a dolphin in the Swan River, the Fremantle Inner Harbour or in Cockburn Sound, you can register your sighting. The register provides vital information to university researchers.

If you see a dolphin or take a photo, you may be interested in trying to identify the dolphin using FinBook. This catalogue identifies dolphins that have been seen in the Swan Canning Riverpark and Fremantle Port. 

Wildlife in distress

If you see any dolphins (or any other wildlife) in distress, please call the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Wildcare HELPLINE on (08) 9474 9055. The Wildcare HELPLINE provides 24-hour state-wide referral to a dedicated group of volunteer wildlife carers and professionals for anyone who finds sick, injured or orphaned native wildlife. 

Please also observe these simple rules:

  • Never feed dolphins – it is illegal and leaves them vulnerable to entanglement, boat strikes and disease.
  • Take your rubbish home - ingestion of plastics, entanglement and poisoning from chemicals is a real risk to dolphins.
  • Fish responsibly - marine mammals, particularly calves, can get tangled in fishing line. Make sure you dispose of unwanted fishing line and hooks in a rubbish bin and use biodegradable line. 'Reel it in' bins are provided on Victoria Quay for disposing of your unwanted fishing tackle.


To enquire about the information on this page, please refer to the following details

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