whale breaching - credit - Nick Talbot

This summer, if you’re lucky enough to encounter whales, dolphins or seals on Victoria’s coastline, make sure you follow the rules to ensure the safety of wildlife and yourself.  

Marine mammals can see humans as a threat and may be harmed by human activities, so keeping a safe distance at all times is vital. Watch whales, dolphins and seals responsibly by admiring them from a distance and using binoculars or a camera lens to get a closer look.  

When boating, stay 300 metres away from whales and 100 metres away from dolphins. It’s OK for whales, dolphins and seals to approach you, but don’t approach them closer than the permitted distances.  

If swimming or surfing, you must not get any closer than 30 metres of a dolphin or 50 metres of a whale.  

There are no restrictions on how close you can swim or surf near a seal in the water, but you should be cautious as seals can bite or knock you over. For seals on land, you must stay 30 metres away, for seals on a boat ramp or other man-made structure you must be at least 5 metres away.    

It is important to remember that whales, dolphins and seals are wild animals, they don’t like to be touched by humans and you should never feed them. Make sure to pets away from wildlife too. When walking your dog, stay at least 50 metres away from seals. This will reduce stress for the seal and the chance of your dog getting bitten.

Page last updated: 27/07/20