As our 2106 Whale Shark Season kicks off nice and early with plenty of Whale Sharks around, I thought it may be a good time to remind people of responsible boating practices whilst driving around the Ningaloo Marine Park ensuring the successful conservation of our marine species. Over the last 5 years filming and photographing marine life in Ningaloo and Western Australia, we have noticed considerable damage to much of the marine life that calls Ningaloo home. One of the most amazing feelings whilst being on the Ningaloo Coast comes from being miles away from civilisation but we must remember that although the nearest reef or navigational hazard may be behind us, that does not mean you are not still sharing the area with others. Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Turtles, Dugongs, Dolphins, Whales and Stingrays are all among some of the special species that carry the scars of irresponsible skipper behaviour. Swimming close to the surface, large marine life will find it near impossible to avoid a small powerboat traveling at 20-30kts will inevitable tragic reproductions. Please also remind others to maintain a safe speed whilst on the ocean considering visibility and glare on the ocean and to pay particular attention when close by to reefs and passages.
We must remember that although you are out on the ocean and miles away from others, we are still sharing the area with our large marine life with Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Turtles, Dugongs, Dolphins, Whales and Stingrays all swimming close to the surface.
Bateman’s Bay just north of coral bay has become a busy route for fishing and pleasure boats but is a recipe for disaster with now 750 individual manta rays identified visiting the area to feed and clean. This poor manta ray along with many more and come into contact with fast boat traffic with these cuts consistent with small outboard engine boat propellers. We must avoid these terrible tragedies if we want to look after these iconic species of marine mega fauna that have made this coastline world renowned. Similarly, this cow-tail ray has been put close to death but a small outboard motor propeller. Our wildlife already struggles on a daily basis to find food and shelter in order to survive, it certainly does not need the additional strain of large cuts and wounds to burden it on its daily grind. Please remain vigilant at all times whilst driving in the Ningaloo Marine Park and avoid drinking alcohol which will impair your judgement and concentration.