When visiting the East Shores Precinct you can often see a pod of Australian Humpback dolphins putting on an acrobatic display with their playful antics at the entrance of the Marina. Dolphins and whales belong to a group of marine mammals called cetaceans and share plenty in common with humans. Despite living in the ocean, like all mammals, cetaceans have hair, breathe air and drink milk when they are young.
The waters around our ports are key habitats for four species of cetaceans:
Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Australian humpback dolphin (Sousa sahulensis)
Australian snubfin dolphin (Orcaella heinsohni)
Indo-Pacific (inshore) bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus).
All dolphin species in Australia are protected and listed as migratory species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Australian humpback and snubfin dolphins are also listed as vulnerable. Australian humpback dolphins are found throughout Port Curtis and Port Alma specifically in the waters of Port Curtis, with a slightly larger population in the Keppel Bay/Fitzroy River region. Australian snubfin dolphins are found primarily in the Fitzroy River area and to a lesser extent in Keppel Bay, outside of the ERMP boundary.
Gladstone Ports Corporation's (GPC) Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (ERMP) monitors the inshore dolphins along the Capricorn Curtis coast to gain an understanding of the population genetics and habitat usage within Port Curtis and Port Alma.
Click on the links below for more information on cetaceans and our environmental initiatives.