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Parliament to Explore Port River Dolphin Protections

The Upper House has passed a Greens motion that would establish a Committee to investigate new protections for the Port River Dolphins in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary.

The Select Committee will inquire into and further report on legislative and policy measures that may be taken, looking particularly at the issues of dredging, banning heavy gauge fishing practices and the use of large hooks, live bait and trawling, whether or not fines for industry discharge are required to be raised, further speed restrictions that may apply, increasing marine safety officers and park rangers, the installation of shellfish rigs, regular and increased water quality monitoring and, of course, looking at the impact of the die-off of the mangroves there and the saltmarsh in neighbouring St Kilda on these dolphins. 

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“It’s time Adelaide had a dolphin sanctuary that actually keeps our dolphins safe. We need to protect the pod, we can’t see any more dolphin calves die. This requires a considered and evidence-based approach, and that is why this Committee inquiry is so important.  

“The pollution in the Port River has been an issue for a long time, and as is the case when these issues go without being adequately addressed, we are seeing the consequences of that.

“It is clear that these dolphins are suffering, that they are dying, and that we humans are not innocent in the pollution of the Port River that is proving to be so harmful. We desperately need to identify the precise cause of death, and we need to ensure that everything is being done to better treat and care for the dolphins who are currently suffering in the Port River. I am hopeful that this committee will help usher in some real answers and solutions for these dolphins, and that we can act on those answers before more dolphins lose their lives.

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