Case Study: Feeding Dolphins from Boat??

Michael Williamson (whe_william@flo.org)
Mon, 5 Apr 1995 08:43:40

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Feeding Dolphins from Boat??
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Subj:	WA: GOVT BANS HAND-FEEDING OF
 
Date:         Tue, 4 Apr 1995 10:53:00 UTC
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Subject:      WA: GOVT BANS HAND-FEEDING OF
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WA: GOVT BANS HAND-FEEDING OF MONKEY MIA DOLPHINS FROM
 
   PERTH, April 4 AAP - Hand-feeding of dolphins from boats in
Western Australia's Shark Bay Marine Park has been banned under a
new feeding routine imposed by WA's Department of Conservation and
Land Management (CALM).
   The state's environment minister Peter Foss said the action was
taken to ensure that new feeding regimes for dolphins at Monkey
Mia, 856km north of Perth, were not disrupted by indiscriminate
feeding elsewhere.
   Visitors to the tourist attraction will still be able to
hand-feed dolphins under the supervision of rangers.
   The new feeding regime was introduced as a result of a study
initiated by CALM into the abnormal number of deaths among unweaned
dolphins and some behavioural problems among adult animals.
   CALM, with agreement from the Shire of Shark Bay, immediately
implemented key recommendations from the report so that no male
calves were hand-fed and females were not fed while they were
suckling.
   The department also banned hand-feeding from boats at Monkey
Mia.
   "There is concern that some people using boats elsewhere in the
Shark Bay Marine Park are still hand-feeding dolphins and this
could compromise the efforts being made at Monkey Mia," Mr Foss
said.
   "Human interaction with dolphins is something that can make a
significant contribution to increasing the community's awareness of
conservation, particularly in the World Heritage-listed Shark Bay
area," he said.
   "However, it needs to be managed so that it can continue on a
sustainable basis. This means the welfare of the animals must come
first."
   The West Australian government today also announced a new plan
to restore the biological diversity of the Shark Bay area.
   The plan, "Project Eden", aims to create a haven for rare and
endangered native animals by effectively controlling foxes and
feral cats on the Peron Peninsular.
   Under the plan, CALM is to begin laying baits treated with the
naturally-occurring poison known as 1080. The baits will be dropped
from the air over some 100,000 hectares of the peninsular.
   Mr Foss said about 10 baits would be laid for every square
kilometre, and signs would be posted warning people which areas had
been treated.