Wildlife on Beaches

  • Wildlife is a common sight on the Peninsula.
  • Seals occasionally visit our beaches.
  • What to do if you see injured wildlife or wildlife that is in danger

Seals and Marine Wildlife

Melbourne Zoo’s Marine Response Unit responds to calls for assistance involving seals, turtles, dolphins and other marine wildlife in Victorian waters.

If you see a seal or other marine wildlife in danger on a beach: contact Melbourne Zoo's Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678 or email mru@zoo.org.au

The Marine Response Unit consists of expert keepers and vets who respond to calls to assist marine wildlife in the Port Philip region. They rely on the community to act as its eyes and ears and report injured or distressed marine wildlife. While the unit responds to all calls involving marine wildlife, it mostly deals with cases involving seals.

Seals are a common sight in Victorian waters and on Victorian beaches, however, it is important to remember they are wild animals and can be dangerous if they feel threatened.

If you see a seal in the wild, keep your distance. They have big teeth and can weigh up to 300kg.

Stay 30 metres from seals on beaches and 50 metres away when you are with a dog (which must be under behavioural control). 

Dolphin Distancing

For generations, our bays have served as crucial nurseries for dolphins, providing shelter, food and a safe place to birth and raise calves. Just this year alone, at least seven new calves have been born in Port Phillip Bay!

Dolphins are curious and may approach you. If they do, slow down and enjoy the experience!

It’s remarkable to share our marine backyards with these animals; they deserve a fair go. That’s why the Dolphin Research Institute is asking boaters to commit to Dolphin Distancing this summer.

Dolphin Distancing is about committing to being respectful around our dolphins and giving them space on the water.

It’s easy - don’t approach dolphins closer than 100m (boats including paddled vessels), 300m (jet skis) and 30m (swimmers).

You can help us show boaters how it’s done by making your commitment here and receiving a sticker to proudly display on your vessel: dolphinresearch.org.au/commit-to-dolphin-distancing/

Please report any offences to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186

Other Injured Wildlife

Preventing pollution and wildlife entanglement

Fish, seabirds and marine mammals can become tangled in or ingest plastic debris. Plastics can take hundreds of years to fully decompose but some break down much quicker into tiny particles, which in turn end up in the seafood we eat.

From 1 July 2021, EPA will have increased powers to prevent harm to the environment from pollution and waste.

This includes releasing balloons into the environment. Releasing balloons is littering and illegal in Victoria.

Report littering and balloon releases to EPA Victoria.