Environment Minister Donna Faragher and Water Minister Graham Jacobs today met Murdoch University researchers and departmental officials regarding the release of an initial research report into the deaths of eight dolphins in the Bunbury inner waters during the past two years.
Murdoch researchers Dr Lars Bejder and Dr Hugh Finn have begun re-investigating the deaths of the dolphins, either found or presumed dead. The Ministers were advised the report found no trend in the timing or cause of the deaths and gathered tissue samples had been sent for further analysis.
Mrs Faragher said this information was important given advice she had received of some similarities with the six dolphin deaths in the Swan River this year.
“Being presented with information directly from the researchers responsible for the study programs has been invaluable in looking at the overall health of dolphins that live in inlets and in waterways that abut metropolitan areas,” Mrs Faragher said.
“While the exact cause of the deaths in the Swan Canning Riverpark and the Bunbury inner waters are still not clear, we know through this research that a number of factors need to be investigated and we need to analyse the data from similar research programs conducted throughout Australia and internationally.”
Dr Jacobs said the research had the capacity to identify a potential problem affecting the State’s dolphin population.
“The research clearly states that we need to better understand the health of our estuarine and coastal marine animals,” Dr Jacobs said.
“This understanding has not previously been available and I look forward to working with the Environment Minister and researchers to ensure we have it in future.”
The report can be obtained through Murdoch University’s website at http://www.murdoch.edu.au or by contacting Tanyia Maxted on 9360 2491.
Environment Minister's office - 9213 7250 Water Minister's office - 9213 6900