PROS AND CONS: Feeding the dolphins at Tin Can Bay may well become a thing of the past if the Great Sandy Strait gains World Heritage listing.
PROS AND CONS: Feeding the dolphins at Tin Can Bay may well become a thing of the past if the Great Sandy Strait gains World Heritage listing. Warren Lynam

World Heritage site extension may end dolphin feeding

SEEMINGLY benign and forward looking plans to extend the Fraser Island World Heritage area to the Cooloola mainland, will mean the end of Tin Can Bay's dolphin feeding institution.

Dolphin advocate Joe McLeod says this would be likely under any World Heritage plan for the area and inevitable if it includes a shut-down of inshore commercial fishing.

Queensland environmental authorities have been working on shutting down the 60-year-old community institution for at least 16 years.
 

READ: Did ALP's Lucy Stanton mislead voters about her visit to TCB and the Barnacles dolphin feeding program?
 

Mr McLeod says they favour the same thing at Tangalooma, even though the Tin Can Bay feeding program is a spontaneous activity started by the dolphins themselves.

Tangalooma, by contrast, is an artificially generated business, favoured as science because of university involvement in its beginnings.

Mr McLeod says the University of Queensland research project which lured the dolphins in artificially was funded by the resort for purely commercial reasons.

But Mr McLeod says it is the Tin Can Bay project they want to close.

Mr McLeod successfully lobbied the state during the most recent closure attempts by environmental bureaucrats in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Heritage listing would place the area under Commonwealth laws and international treaties which already outlaw human- dolphin interaction wherever federal law applies.

He says local Butchulla Aboriginal people have told him human interaction with dolphins was part of their culture for thousands of years, the dolphins driving fish into nets and being rewarded with an easy feed.

Under the new laws introduced under the Newman government, the by-catch of inshore commercial fishing is all that is allowed to be fed to the dolphins, he said.

Should mainland Cooloola be world heritage listed, which will end TCB dolphin feeding?

This poll ended on 21 June 2016.

Current Results

Yes, it will help protect the area

47%

No, it will only be a namesake

6%

No, I don't want to see TCB dolphin feeding shut down

46%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

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