Dolphins are great ambassadors for our oceans and are great flagship species when it comes to raising general appreciation for marine life. Mankind has been fascinated with these intelligent marine dwellers since time immemorial and, although our knowledge on these beautiful animals has increased incredibly over the last decades, we still find ourselves reacting in the same delightful way to an encounter with them as our ancestors probably did centuries before.
The first dolphin that comes to mind when we think of this charismatic group of cetaceans is the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). It is the most commonly-held species of cetacean in captivity with hundreds of individuals imprisoned in enclosures across the globe. Despite its wide distribution, undisputed intelligence and incredible adaptivity, the magnetic appeal of the species has turned it into its detriment. Our goal is to change this outlook on dolphins; while captivity has helped scientists learn more about dolphins (especially through Bottlenose dolphins) we believe the most authentic data and most special experiences can only happen through responsible encounters on the ocean, like the one we enjoyed this morning.
Apart from Bottlenose dolphin we also met a mother honorable representative of the dolphin family; the Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). These innately curious dolphins are generally easy to approach at sea and confidently put an array of social behaviours on display during a tour. Spotted dolphins aren’t only entertaining to meet, they have also become one of the most important dolphin species when it comes to studying dolphins in the wild, particularly when it comes to bioacoustics. I mentioned a talk by Dr. Denise Herzing on board, a biologist who aims to decipher the language of spotted dolphins in the Bahamas and you can find that here.
What a wonderful morning, a big thank you to our guests!
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins