Victorians taking to the water on Port Phillip Bay are reminded to take care around marine wildlife, with patrols now underway to ensure both people and wildlife remain safe.
Zoos Victoria’s AGL Marine Response Unit is on call to respond to marine wildlife in distress. Patrol boats from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Victoria Police and other agencies will also be on hand to ensure Victorians are doing the right thing in the water and keeping a safe distance from seals, dolphins and other marine wildlife.
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville today joined the AGL Marine Response Unit and Parks Victoria today on a patrol to Chinaman’s Hat in Port Phillip Bay to check on the Bay’s seals and to learn about a recent successful rescue of a female seal from the structure.
The AGL Marine Response Unit responded to a call earlier this month to free the young seal from a life-threatening entanglement, and she was successfully released back into the wild. The seal has since been seen to be recovering well.
While the warmer months see more Victorians enjoying jet skiing and boating - it also means more encounters with marine wildlife. Both recreational vessel users and tour operators are reminded to comply with the rules and regulations about how close they can be to marine wildlife, for the safety of all involved.
The AGL Marine Response Unit is Victoria’s first dedicated marine unit of its kind and responds to hundreds of calls each year to assist injured or distressed seals, turtles, dolphins and other marine wildlife. It relies on the community to act as its eyes and ears.
To report sick, injured or distressed marine wildlife call the AGL Marine Response Unit on 0447 158 676.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
“The recent rescue of a seal at Chinaman’s Hat reminds us why we need to keep our beaches and waterways clear of litter, and behave responsibly in the water.”
“Dispose of your litter responsibly otherwise it can enter our waterways and cause potentially life-threatening hazards for our wildlife.”
“If you are on a boat in the Bay and happen to be in close proximity to a dolphin, whale, seal or other wildlife, remember the rules about how close you can be. Reduce your speed to five knots or less and drive away from the animal.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020