Although Dolphins are easy to spot from ship or shore, they weren’t mentioned in two major environmental studies of Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, 1968-71; and by the CSIRO, 1992).
Given that the presence of species at the top of the food chain can be a useful indicator of the overall health of their environment, their absence in these two studies is a curious oversight. Also, historical records of Dolphins in Port Phillip Bay are hard to find. So it’s a good thing that the Dolphin Research Institute is making up for lost time.
Let’s hope their research will soon tell us all we need to know to ensure these funky fish will always be a feature of our Bay. But in the meantime, we can all do our bit to keep their habitat healthy. Even if you live up to 40km from the Bay, it’s likely the stormwater drains in your street are connected to it. Have a think about it next time it rains. What goes down the drain?
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