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South West Marine Research Program

This extraordinary partnership between Bunbury Dolphin Discovery and Murdoch University is delivering high quality research outcomes culminating in a Dolphin Population Viability Analysis.  Commencing in 2006 the program has received quality reviews and has established a range of corporate and academic partnerships.

This highly regarded research program is looking into a range of issues with the ultimate aim of understanding the viability of the Bunbury dolphins and the environment that sustains them.

For more information on the program check the South West Marine Research Project .  Their Blog “From the field” keeps you up to date with their latest projects.

Such an ambitious project could not be undertaken without the help of supporters.  The South West Marine Research Program is extremely fortunate in having the commitment and contribution of the following Partners:






The Dolphin Discovery Centre research program has grown in recent years and has been developed with three overall aims in mind:

  • To provide information which is of significance to our understanding of the ecology of dolphins and to their future conservation and management,
  • To develop recommendations pertaining to human disturbance on the dolphin population so that impacts are minimised which will help ensure the sustainability of the dolphin watching experience in Bunbury, and
  • To build Bunbury Dolphin Discovery into a nationally and internationally recognised dolphin research centre that excels in scientifically rigorous marine research.

The most significant development within this area is our exclusively endorsed research program and partnership with Murdoch University’s Cetacean Research Unit.

We will soon put together more website pages detailing this partnership.  In the meantime check out the program’s website:

 The Objectives of the Research Program

The program itself is still in its infancy however it does have a number of specific objectives:

  • To identify the population dynamics of the Bottlenose dolphins in the Bunbury area and how this changes over time.
  • To identify the importance of different habitats used by Bottlenose dolphins in the Bunbury area.
  • To quantify the effect of boat traffic (including tourism activities) on Bottlenose dolphins in an area of high human impact, and compare results to locations in more pristine areas.

What it all means for the DDC

The successful development of infrastructure, scientific expertise, and a primary research program will see the Dolphin Discovery Centre reach its potential as a nationally and internationally recognised dolphin research centre. Being known as a renowned centre for research it will attract scientists from prestigious institutions worldwide. Media, in many forms, will arrive in Bunbury and long term positive effects on the environment and economy of the region are expected.

Findings from research conducted in Bunbury will add significantly to the pool of current knowledge on the topic of the sustainability of wild dolphins, and their significance as important community resource. Such knowledge will have implications for conservation and management of wildlife both in Bunbury and worldwide.

From Our Blog

What an incredible start to the dolphin season! With a relatively quiet winter period now well and truly behind us,  the warmer water and perfect weather conditions have sparking a dolphin visits boom.

What an exciting day today for our lucky guests who joined the dolphin sightseeing tour. Not only did they enjoy a large family of dolphins playing in the Bay, but they also had the fortune to observe

If there is one thing winter brings to the south west that everyone loves it would have to be whales. Over the past few weeks a number of brief whale sightings have been reported however today has been