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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Cover of Marine species - WSSD 2002 fact sheet

Marine species

WSSD 2002 fact sheet
Environment Australia, August 2002

PDF file

About the fact sheet

Forty-three of the world's 80 species of cetaceans - whales, dolphins and porpoises - live in or migrate through Australian waters.

Whalers once hunted many species almost to extinction. In fact today, in the Southern Hemisphere, the International Whaling Commission can only give a population estimate for one species, the Blue Whale. The original Blue Whale population may have numbered 250,000 but is now estimated to be between 400 and 1400.

Two years ago, the Australian Government declared the Australian Whale Sanctuary in which all cetaceans are protected. The Sanctuary prohibits taking or injuring a cetacean or trading in cetacean parts, and sets strict conditions on cetacean research. Australia encourages other countries and international organisations - including the Whaling Commission - to create sanctuaries and to give whales, dolphins and porpoises the highest possible level of protection.

See also