National strategy for reducing vessel strike on cetaceans and other Marine megafauna
Island and Ocean Ecosystems
Marine megafauna has a high public appeal in Australia, both for its ecological value as well as its economic, cultural and spiritual importance. Australian waters are home to 45 species of cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises), including permanent residents and occasional visitors. Dugongs, Whale sharks and six species of marine turtle are also found in Australian waters. The risk of vessel collision is a known threat for Australia’s marine megafauna, however, the scale of the problem is not clearly understood. Impacts to individual animals can be fatal or non-fatal, with non-fatal interactions potentially resulting in suffering and reduced fitness.