With the school holidays seeing more Peel locals out and about, enjoying the scenery - dolphins have been spotted splashing around and putting on a show, much to the delight of residents.
While dolphins are an iconic part of the Peel community, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has issued a reminder that for dolphins to continue to thrive for many years to come, the public must follow important guidelines.
A representative from DBCA told the Mail the four main messages were to "support a clean marine environment, let dolphins feed themselves, go slow for those below and enjoy dolphins from a distance".
The official advice was to "never approach a wild dolphin" and make sure to keep at least 50 metres away if you are in the water, or 100 metres if you are in a boat.
According to the DBCA, feeding wild dolphins is not only illegal, but "leaves them vulnerable to entanglement, boat strikes and disease".
For those who have been enjoying school holiday boat rides, the advice was to go slow, because dolphins often form "resting groups" in the middle reaches of the estuary.
The final piece of advice was to dispose of all unwanted fishing line, due to dolphins, particularly calves, being susceptible to entanglement.
"In 2018, DBCA expanded the dolphin watch program to include the Peel Harvey Estuary and now has a base of volunteers in the Mandurah area assisting with monitoring the resident dolphin population," the representative said.
"This provides important information to help guide and focus management programs."
Estuary Guardians Mandurah, a volunteer organisation which has been focussed on protecting Peel's dolphins for a number of years, has also posted tips on what to do when encountering stranded dolphins in the wild.
These tips include staying clear of the tail, keeping the dolphin's skin moist if possible and not applying sunscreen to a burnt dolphin.
A representative from Estuary Guardians said now was a "crucial" time for dolphin calves, determining whether they would survive their first year.
"There are quite a few small calves in our waterways at the moment," the representative said.
"We have already had two newborns deceased this year. Here in Mandurah we are very lucky to see dolphins in the wild - out on the water but also from land.
"It is important that we give them their space so they will continue to be around in years to come."
For more information on caring for dolphins, visit www.riverguardians.com/projects/dolphin-watch/caring-for-dolphins.
If you come across a stranded, injured or deceased dolphin contact Wildcare Hotline (08) 9474 9055 or message Estuary Guardians via Facebook.
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