Hon Reece Whitby MLA

Hon Reece Whitby MLA

Minister for Environment; Climate Action

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Tourism; Commerce; Science

    Trial for swimming with seals off our coastline

    20/09/2022 9:05 AM
     
    • Proposed trial at Shoalwater Islands and Jurien Bay marine parks this summer
    • Chance for safe close encounters with seals in their own environment
    • Public can have a say on how humans interact with seals

    Western Australians could soon be able to get up close and personal with seals in an incredible wildlife experience.

     

    A trial has been proposed at Shoalwater Islands and Jurien Bay marine parks this summer where swimmers could interact with Australian sea lions in their own environment.

     

    The McGowan Government wants to make sure these interactions are safely managed.

     

    Seals are protected in WA, with the public being required to keep a minimum distance of 50 metres away in the water, 100 metres in a vessel and 10 metres on land.

     

    Western Australians can now have their say on how humans interact with seals.

     

    The draft management program aims to protect the animals and manage their natural curiosity safely and ethically. If the trial is successful, it will transition to a licensed industry like Ningaloo's humpback and whale shark swim tours.

     

    Licence fees from participating tourism operators would be reinvested by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions into research and conservation management.

     

    The public can have a say until 15 November by visiting

    www.dbca.wa.gov.au/have-your-say-on-interactions-seals-western-australia

     

    Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

     

    "Seals are incredibly intelligent and curious creatures, and a familiar sight along our coastline.

     

    "Imagine interacting with seals in their own environment while playing a part in safeguarding their protection.

     

    "We need to make sure safety is a priority for both swimmers and seals, while making WA a unique destination for magical wildlife experiences."

     

    Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:

     

    "This is a great tourism opportunity that builds on other nature-based experiences around WA such as swimming with whale sharks, humpbacks and manta rays off Ningaloo.

     

    "It will also create jobs in Rockingham and Jurien Bay, and further strengthen WA's reputation as a destination of choice for best practice wildlife encounters.

     

    "This is a terrific fit with our new 'Walking On A Dream' tourism campaign which has been so well received across WA and on the east coast of Australia."

     

    Environment Minister's office - 6552 6300

    Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500