The fact that we are able to enjoy the company of cetaceans in todays day and age is based on two determining factors; luck and vigilance. We are indeed lucky that these fascinating creatures are so intelligent and resilient to still be wandering our oceans in the way that they do. Besides the fact that it’s humbling and wonderful to encounter them, marine ecosystems as we know them would fall apart if it weren’t for them. Adaptive and opportunistic species such as the Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) or the Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) are perfect examples of this and it’s impossible to miss these attributes during a sighting with both species.
Vigilance on our part, however, also plays a decisive role. It’s undeniable that humanity has caused some irreparable damage to ocean ecosystems but our current knowledge and technology do leave hope for the future, as do some our past conservation efforts. Decades ago, the mighty Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were relentlessly hunted and exploited for their spermaceti and ambergris until worldwide conservation efforts finally put a stop to the whaling. Since then, populations have recovered very well and, although these magnificent toothed whales remain vulnerable to threats such as plastic and noise pollution, the protection of the populations from commercial whaling has bore fruit. If we direct our efforts at saving something we can get it done. We just have to put our minds to it. If we aren’t going to do it for the animals should at least do it for our children and their children because, I don’t know about you but, I simply cannot imagine a world without these wonderful creatures in it.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales
15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins