Dolphins high and dry | Fin Review

In the past few weeks there has been three live dolphins stranded in Mandurah and the adjacent coast.

A false killer whale was stranded in Falcon Bay and after a rescue attempt was found re-stranded in the Harvey estuary the following morning.

Both this false killer whale and a striped dolphin that was stranded a couple of days ago near Point Peron are oceanic species.

They were taken further out to sea, where they were released.

We do not generally know why dolphins strand, but often it is thought they might be injured or ill.

For the local dolphins in Mandurah this is not always the case.

More than fifty dolphins, including mother and calf pairs, have been stranded in Mandurah.  

Many of these were live strandings associated with spring tides, with dolphins being caught in shallow water of the estuary, or up the rivers.

You can recognise some of the dolphins who have stranded by the distinct white scarring from sunburn on their backs.

Kristen, a juvenile male, stranded two weeks ago, just before full moon, at Herron Point in the Harvey Estuary.

Kristen was helped to deeper water after which we have seen him twice, looking healthy and back with his usual associates.

If you see a stranded dolphin, alive or dead, you need to immediately phone the Department of Parks and Wildlife Wildcare helpline on (08) 94749055.

You should avoid touching stranded dolphins and whales, to avoid disease transfer, and keep a distance to avoid stressing the animal.

Only people who have been trained to respond to stranded dolphins should do so.

The Mandurah Dolphin Research Project is a partnership between Murdoch University, City of Mandurah and Mandurah Cruises that commenced in January 2016.

They are measuring how many dolphins use the Peel-Harvey waterways and how they are connected to dolphins in nearby coastal waters.

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