Threats to Dolphins & Whales

Australian humpback dolphin with fishing hook embedded in jaw Image (c) Dolphin Research Australia

Australian Humpback Dolphin off a major Australian shipping port. Image (c) Dolphin Research Australia

A number of threats to whales and dolphins from human activities have become evident in recent years.

Threats include:

  • Whaling, hunting (illegal & traditional)
  • Fisheries bycatch (in commercial fishing gear including drift nets)
  • Pollution (chemical and debris/litter)
  • Global climate change
  • Tourism activities (includes vessel-based whale & dolphin watching)
  • Boat strikes
  • Noise pollution (includes vessels, LFA & MFA Navy Sonar)
  • Habitat loss & degradation (e.g. through urban development)