Victorian marine mammals include southern right whales, humpback whales, blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and the Australian fur seal.

For assistance with an injured, stranded or dead whale or dolphin immediately call:

Whale and Dolphin Emergency Hotline 1300 136 017

Further information can also be found at Whale and dolphin emergencies.

Identification guide for marine mammals

Download the identification guide for marine mammals or contact our Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 for a copy.

Marine mammals of Victoria: identification guide (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Marine mammals of Victoria: identification guide (DOC, 330.5 KB)

Fact sheets about Victorian whales, dolphins and seals:

Southern right whale (PDF) (PDF, 225.5 KB)
Southern right whale (DOC) (DOCX, 247.0 KB)

Blue whale (PDF) (PDF, 189.4 KB)
Blue whale (DOC (DOCX, 175.0 KB))

Humpback whale (PDF) (PDF, 266.7 KB)
Humpback whale (DOC) (DOCX, 215.0 KB)

Bottlenose dolphin (PDF) (PDF, 191.5 KB)
Bottlenose dolphin (DOC) (DOCX, 181.4 KB)

Australian Fur Seal (PDF)
Australian Fur Seal (DOC)

About marine mammals

Although they live in the ocean, whales, dolphins and seals are not as different from humans as you may think. Like us, they are warm-blooded, breathe air and produce milk for their young.

When they feel comfortable, whales, dolphins and seals will readily approach boats and swimmers.

We need to be careful about how close we get to these animals and what we do in their presence, as we can pose a risk to their health and well-being.

Regulations are in place to protect these special animals and to provide world-class viewing opportunities.

These regulations set standards for watching whales, dolphins and seals in the wild, including viewing from the land, water or air.

Activities such as swimming, feeding, touching, and making noise close to our marine mammals are also regulated.

For a full copy of the Wildlife (Marine Mammal) Regulations 2009 or the Wildlife Act 1975, please visit Parliament of Victoria.

Review of regulations

The Wildlife (Marine Mammals) Regulations 2009 must be reviewed and remade before they expire in November 2019. We are seeking feedback on the current regulations to inform the review.

There are two ways to comment: via the online form; or through a written submission.

Written submissions can be emailed to

Submissions could identify:

  • strengths of the current regulations;
  • problems, issues or gaps with the current regulations;
  • suggested changes/amendments to the current regulations; and
  • any other relevant matters affecting the regulations.

Submissions close on 12 October 2018

Page last updated: 21/09/2018