RESPONSIBLE DOLPHIN WATCHING
Tourism with wild cetaceans is increasing as more people understand they belong to the wild and they can’t be kept safe in captivity. Science shows that dolphin watching activity can pose high levels of stress to wild populations when it is not carried out properly. Irresponsible dolphin watching activities, such as chasing at high speed, encircling them or cutting their path can disrupt natural behaviour, causing changes in their behavioural activity, movement, vocalization and pod structure, and even increases the risk of boat propeller injuries. Dolphin watching can only be done in places where animals are found regularly and they are in these places for a particular reason. The dolphins use the bay of Gibraltar for resting, giving birth, nursing their calves and feeding, amongst other behaviours. Even if they are stressed, they can’t find an alternative area, as there is no other place where they can develop the above behaviours.
IRRESPONSIBLE CETACEAN TOURISM CAN LEAD TO POPULATION DECLINE.
BE AWARE OF YOUR RESPONSABILITY AS A CUSTOMER TO CHOOSE A RESPONSIBLE TOUR OPERATOR!!
WHAT IS A RESPONSIBLE TOUR OPERATOR:
A Responsible tour operator ensures the least possible impact on dolphins and their environment.
The top priority of a responsible dolphin operator, after your safety is the welfare of the animals as we need them to be in the area, healthy and safe to develop our activity.
A responsible tour operator will behave accordingly to guidelines and know how to interact with dolphins and whales in a responsible way.
Educational information provided
It is very important to have an expert guide on board who can give information about guidelines and provide realistic and local information about the biology of the animals in the area. They can identify behaviours and can detect a negative response from the dolphins while the activity is occurring. They will communicate to the customers the realistic expectations of encounters and the dolphin’s behaviour.
Support research and conservation
This is really important and can make the difference between a “run the mill” trip and a really memorable experience! A professional guide will give you a lively and entertaining commentary on the various species of dolphins as well as other marine life in the area. They will also be knowledgeable about any threats facing local cetaceans and also be able to interpret the behaviours of the whales and dolphins being observed as this can really add to your understanding and enjoyment of the experience. The operator supports research, allowing scientific biologists and other organizations to use the boats as a biological platform and to collect data for analysing. Therefore producing both local and real information to adapt the dolphin watching activity to the welfare of the dolphins.
YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER, YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE TO THE WELFARE OF THE DOLPHINS!!!