News & Media releases

Articles by year

New research in to our resident dolphins worth tuning in to

Tuning in to the signature ‘whistles’ of dolphins could prove a game-changer in being able to accurately track the movements of this much-loved protected species.

Up until now, we've been totally reliant upon visual surveys, both on boats and by our Dolphin Watch volunteers. 

Our scientists and citizen scientists are reliant upon seeing visible nicks and notches in the dorsal fins of individuals to be able to accurately identify them. Due to spending limited time at the surface, this can be extremely challenging at times.

Exciting new research out of Edith Cowan and Curtin universities explores the theory that individual dolphins have a unique signature whistle that can help us identify them without laying eyes on them. 

Dolphin Watch and ECU researcher Associate Professor Chandra Salgado Kent said the project could have significant implications for dolphin conservation.

“Our ultimate aim is to track the movements of individual dolphins through underwater acoustic recorders,” Professor Salgado Kent said.

Sounds interesting, right? Read the full paper here.

Recfishwest Community Grants program - now open (closes 22/11/19)

The funds generated from Western Australia’s Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence and other fishing licences, has provided more than $8 million to fund community-driven projects aimed at enhancing recreational fishing.

These projects provide enhancement to WA’s recreational fishing sector and are an example of recreational fishers working together with the state government to ensure recreational fishing licence money provides benefits to the sector.

The funding will be injected into community initiatives such as habitat enhancement, stock enhancement, research and data collection, including the socio-economic benefits of recreational fishing.

Applications which demonstrate the support of local recreational fishers will be given preference while funding will be provided to projects that are beneficial and cost effective to the recreational fishing community.

Community Grants
Round 10 of the Recfishwest Community Grants program is now open for applications. Applications close at midnight 22 November 2019.

For more information and details on how to apply visit


Dolphin Watch patron Prof. Lyn Beazley congratulates Dolphin Watchers

Patron of the Dolphin Watch project, Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE has acknowledged the amazing contribution of Dolphin Watch volunteers in a special video that aired at Dolphin Watch Day on 5 September.

The special event celebrated the 10-year anniversary of one of the Dolphin Watch project - one of Australia's leading Citizen Science initiatives.

Since being launched in 2009, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' has trained more than 1,000 volunteers in Perth to help monitor the movements of the 20-25 resident Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that call the Swan Canning river system home.

Watch Lyn's special thank you video here.

The event, which was attended by the Minsiter for Environment, Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, was also used to recognise the special efforts of a few Dolphin Watch volunteers that have gone over and above to help make the project a success.

Congratulations to the recipients of the Outstanding Service Awards, Mrs Jennie Hunt, Mr Robert Broadway and Mrs Susan Harper!


Asian paddle crab alert

An Asian paddle crab (Charybdis japonica) has been found and confirmed this week via taxonomic and molecular analysis.  A single mature female crab was caught at Blackwall Reach, Swan River, Perth, by a recreational fisher on 5th December 2018.

The Asian paddle crab is an aggressive non-native crab that could outcompete native species like the blue swimmer and spread diseases to prawns, crabs and lobsters.

The Department is calling for continued vigilance from the community, recreational fishers and crabbers and sees their assistance as crucial as the five paddle crabs previously detected at Mosman Bay in 2012 and Matilda Bay in 2014, and one in Mandurah in 2010, were all caught by recreational fishers.

The pest crab varies greatly in colour but its definitive features are six sharp spines between the eyes and six spines down each side of the shell.

As part of the management response, the Department is undertaking a range of activities including public awareness and communication engagement campaign and trapping surveys in the Swan River are planned for the coming months.

The Department considers that the measures being taken are keeping the risks to WA’s aquatic environment to a low level.

Download the brochure here to find out more about this aggresive pest.

Clean our rivers!

We've made it easy for you to help clean our rivers.

Together with FunCats Watersports in South Perth, we have a special board with reusable bags/buckets, grippers and instructions on how you can help!

All you need is a couple of minutes - grab a bag or bucket, gripper and pick up the rubbish along the beach and foreshore. Take your bag or bucket full of rubbish to the nearest bin, empty it and return the bag/bucket and gripper to the board - our native wildlife will thank you for it :)

Don't forget to take a pic and share it with us using the hashtag #cleanourrivers on River Guardians Facebook or Instagram