First look at the Coffs Harbour sea-pen sanctuary

Mar 26, 2019 by afdadmin
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Earlier this month, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park (formerly Dolphin Marine Magic) announced they will no longer breed dolphins in captivity.

Now there’s more good news for the five dolphins currently residing at the marine park in New South Wales.

The concept designs and potential locations for building a dolphin sea-pen sanctuary in the region are ready.

In stage one of the feasibility study coastal engineering experts Manly Hydraulics Laboratory (MHL), analysed wave and tidal data in the Coffs Harbour basin. This showed it was technically feasible to build a sea-pen sanctuary in the basin.

MHL’s analysis of the wave and tidal data

Stage one also found that an additional structure such as a breakwater will need to be built in order for the dolphins to be protected from waves and bad weather.

Now stage two results have come in. If the sanctuary goes ahead it will likely be built in one of these three locations:

These options were presented to a group of important stakeholders in Coffs Harbour, including members of council. The meeting was a huge success with the majority of attendees showing support for the project.

Community support is a vital step in helping make the sea-pen a reality, and we were incredibly happy with the results.

MHL presenting designs and potential locations to council members and local groups in Coffs Harbour last year.

There are still many more tests to complete before we are sure the sea-pen sanctuary is the best option for the dolphins. Next up is a comprehensive welfare and hearing test of the dolphins at the park.

But we are so thankful to all our supporters for getting the study to this point. We will continue to work hard to bring the dolphins closer to their ocean home.