Whale and dolphin watching operations should benefit the whales and dolphins as well as the environment. Some operators are promoting a respectful, safe, informative and friendly dolphin watching tour. Find out what you should and shouldn’t do when interacting with dolphins in the wild.
Watching whales and dolphins in the wild is an unique experience. Much different from what you can see in a dolphinarium. For this reason several operators around the world are now carrying out dolphin watching tours that allow you to watch, interact or swim with dolphins.
As human interactions with wild dolphins increase, the risk of disturbing or injuring them also increases. For example:
. Disease transmission is a serious concern, as dolphins carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans and vice versa;
. Injury to dolphins by boat propellers;
. Risk of dolphins becoming dependent on humans for food, as some boat operators entice them towards the swimmers using food;
. Safety of swimmers;
Researchers and expert guides have found it may have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations. In this context the project ‘Dolphin Bay‘ was born. This project aims at promoting dolphin watching tours in Golfo Aranci, Italy as ecotouristic tours respecting the dolphin’s space and habitat.
Photo: Responsible tourism in Golfo Aranci, Italy. Here the dolphins live, play, communicate and set out the path for those who dream of a better future.
Dolphin watching companies, participating in the “Dolphin Bay” project, are Friend of the Sea certified. Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for sustainable fishing and aquaculture products, and for sustainable whale and dolphin watching activities.
Below are some important do’s and don’ts to remember when viewing dolphins in the wild:
The “Dolphin Bay” project was conceived by Worldrise, a non-profit organization created and run by young people who carry out projects on the protection and enhancement of the marine environment, and are promoters of economic and social sustainable development. All initiatives are coordinated by young students and recent graduates, who have a unique opportunity to reconcile the practical field experience with academic knowledge, in order to achieve a complete professional growth.