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

Pollution in our waterways is an ongoing issue and can have devastating effects on the dolphins, birds, fish and other wildlife that live in the area. 

The Port River is an industrial area. It has Metropolitan Adelaide’s Power Plants, a large wastewater treatment plant and new industrial and residential development occurring.

Rubbish such as plastic bags and fishing debris that are not disposed of properly can be very harmful.  

Plastic bags that are floating in the water look very similar to jellyfish and if ingested by dolphins can cause them to feel full leading to starvation.

Discarded fishing line and hooks have caused severe injury and death to dolphins and other marine life.

 There is the obvious pollution such as the discarded fishing line and plastic bags regularly found in the water but there is also the hidden pollution, the microplastics, toxins and chemicals that we can’t see that is extremely concerning

A Port River dolphin caught in a plastic bag

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

Fishing line



Pollution harms dolphins

The EPA (Environment Protection Authority) found that some of the dolphins in the Port River had some of the highest levels of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in the world.

It is believed that the immune systems of some of the dolphins in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary (ADS) are compromised. The SARDI report "Reviewing threats to dolphins health in the ADS mentions that “Immunocompromise can be caused by pollutants such as PCBs, hydrocarbons, heavy metals and toxic algal blooms, as well as food shortages and altered water quality”.  The report also states that "anthropogenic waste and run-off continue to enter the waters and sediment and food chains undoubtedly continue to contain significant industrial residues."

It is vital the pollution entering the water is reduced.

A Mother and her calf, near a water outlet

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