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Dolphins are protected marine mammals. It is illegal to feed, harass or harm dolphins. Fines up to $100,000 apply.



Feeding dolphins in South Australia is illegal. Feeding dolphins can be very harmful to them.

It encourages dolphins to hang around areas where people are fishing. They become beggars and stay in these areas where it is more likely that they will become entangled in fishing line or hit by boats.


  Dolphins need to catch live fish  Often people feed dolphin’s dead fish which may have harmful bacteria on them. Feeding dolphins can also cause dolphins to become dependent on humans. They may lose the ability to catch their own fish and stop their normal social behaviours and stop the other normal daily activities.

Learn more about other common dangers to the dolphins and how to prevent them


Fishing line


Feeding dolphins disrupts their natural feeding patterns

Captain Hook Bow Riding 

Unfortunately, we had people feeding one of our well known dolphins Captain Hook. Since being fed he became stranded, hooked with a fishing line and also hooked with a fishing jag.   Fishermen were observed deliberately trying to harm Hooky by throwing rocks at him and deliberately casting their lines in his direction.  

Because people had been feeding him, Captain Hook was spending a large amount of time near boats, people fishing and areas where it is very dangerous for him. 

The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary (ADS) Rangers and the ADS Action Group have been spending several hours monitoring the situation and educating members of the public about the issues with feeding wild dolphins. The ADS Rangers have put some great signage to remind people but sadly people were still feeding him.


  Please let wild dolphins be wild, please don’t feed them.  

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