Supplementary Form A - Whales and Dolphins: Question 5

Project Proposal
This is a broad application to cover research projects being conducted on Western Australian
dolphins and whales through the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU).
MUCRU staff and students work on conservation-based research projects. This includes
assessing abundance and habitat use of a variety of dolphin populations; analyzing cetacean
social structure; mitigating against dolphin by-catch in fisheries; and assessing foraging ecology,
population genetics and human impacts on cetaceans through development and tourism.
Projects involve a combination of behavioural observation, photographic identification and
remote biopsy sampling (see attached SOPs 0100-03 and 0100-04). None of these techniques
applied involve capture or handling of wild dolphins and whales, and only elicits short-term
behavioural changes. Strict protocols are followed such that disturbance beyond short-term is
avoided. Should an individual MUCRU staff/student’s research deviate from these broadly used
research techniques, he/she/they will submit a separate proposal to the Commonwealth
Department of Environment. Currently MUCRU is conducting cetacean research as detailed
above (see in the State waters of Western Australia. In our EPBC application
here we have specified that our targeted research species is the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops
truncatus and Tursiops aduncus) and all other species listed are individuals that occupy the
Commonwealth waters and may hence be encountered opportunistically during our study.