Wildlife on Beaches

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  • 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

This summer the Dolphin Research Institute are calling upon the community to commit to Dolphin Distancing.

Dolphin Distancing is about showing respect to dolphins.

Dolphins are curious animals and may come to you. If this happens enjoy the experience but don't follow them. Interruption to feeding, resting or nursing can be dire to our local dolphin population.

The regulations say to keep your distance from dolphins - at least 100 metres for boats (including paddling craft), 300 metres for jet skis and 30 metres for swimmers. Dogs should be kept 300 metres away from dolphins. To learn more about this program or make your commitment to Dolphin Distancing, follow this link: Commit to Dolphin Distancing - Dolphin Research Institute.

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.

Further Information