Amazing footage has captured the moment one of Mandurah's resident dolphin calves Luca was rescued from fishing line tightly wrapped around his body.
A local volunteer dolphin rescue group contacted marine wildlife officers at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions (DBCA) immediately after spotting the one-year-old dolphin in distress in Dawesville on February 26.
The entanglement of Luca's right flipper not only deeply cut his pectoral fin, which is critical for a dolphin's balance, but impacted his ability to swim.
It was also tightly wrapped around his body twice and through his mouth.
A team of seven DBCA wildlife officers, research experts and divers were quickly dispatched to help save the mammal, before releasing him into the Southport Canals.
In a post on Facebook, Estuary Guardians Mandurah said the wildlife officers, who have the legal authority, expertise and necessary equipment to carry out rescues, had to "carefully plan how to help Luca whilst also limiting stress on the animal".
"Capturing a free swimming dolphin calf in deep water with an anxious, protective mother as well in the mix is extremely difficult," the post read.
The team managed to net the mother and calf together into a canal before slowly reducing the size of the area and eventually capturing the calf.
After eight hours of careful work, all the line was cut off the animal and Luca was set free, with a nasty scar to show for the distressing experience.
"It is clear that fishing line is very dangerous to our beautiful dolphins and bird life," Estuary Guardians Mandurah said.
"Please carefully dispose of all line and pick up and bin any you see."
The DBCA will host a free training evening on March 27 for community members to learn about the Dolphin Watch project and how to contribute to local conservation efforts.
For more information, or to register your interest for the event, visit www.eventbrite.com.au.