Navigation Links
Thrill-seeking holidaymakers are putting dolphins at risk
Date:3/16/2010

Tourists wanting to watch and swim with dolphins are now being urged to keep their distance in a bid to protect both the animals and the local communities whose livelihoods depend on them.

A study of bottlenose dolphins living off the coast of Zanzibar has found that the many tourist boats operating in the area are harassing the animals, preventing them from resting, feeding and nurturing their young.

The research, led by Dr Per Berggren of Newcastle University, also highlights swimming with dolphins in particular where tourists swim in very close and try to touch the dolphins as being incredibly stressful for the animals.

Printed today in the academic journal Endangered Species Research, the authors say regulation of the dolphin tourism industry is "urgently needed" to minimize the potential long-term negative impact on the animals.

Dr Berggren, who joined Newcastle from Stockholm University earlier this month, explained: "The current situation in Zanzibar is unsustainable. The local community is dependent on tourism - and therefore the dolphins - but unless the activity is regulated the animals will leave.

"Our study found that whenever the tourist boats were present the dolphins were very unsettled and spent less time feeding, socialising or resting. This has a negative impact, not only on individual animals, but on the population as a whole and long term it could be devastating.

"The problem is that any change needs to be tourist-driven. Many visitors will pay drivers extra in tips to steer their boats in close, herding the dolphins so they can dive right in amongst them. Our message is, keep your distance and put the dolphins first."

Dolphin-watching was introduced off the South coast of Zanzibar in 1992. Today it is one of the few places in the world where tourism has completely replaced the traditional dolphin hunt an activity which threatened the local population of around 150 bottlenose dolphins.

"Abolishing the hunts was a major breakthrough and dolphin watching offered a humane, sustainable alternative," says Dr Berggren.

"Unfortunately, without regulation, dolphin tourism brings with it its own challenges."

Watching the dolphins over a period of 40 days, the research team found that in the presence of the tourist boats, the time the dolphins spent resting dropped from 38 per cent of the time to 10 per cent while the time they spent foraging and socialising dropped from 19 and 10 per cent to just 10 and 4 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, travelling behaviour more than doubled in proportion, from 33 to 77 per cent, becoming by far the most dominant activity state during interactions with tourist boats.

"Overall, the dolphins are using more energy than they are taking in because they aren't resting or feeding as much but are swimming more as they try to avoid the tourist boats," explains Dr Berggren, based in the School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University.

"Zanzibar is a wonderful place, the dolphins are incredibly interesting and between July and October there are also breeding humpbacks in the area. I would recommend that anyone go there for a holiday and support the local community but act responsibly and ask operators to follow existing guidelines."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Per Berggren
per.berggren@ncl.ac.uk
44-191-222-5676
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Americans want Uncle Sams help putting healthy foods on their dinner table
2. Putting limits on vitamin E
3. Putting a green cap on garbage dumps
4. Department of Energy putting power in the hands of consumers through technology
5. Putting stem cell research on the fast track
6. Dolphins get a lift from delta wing technology
7. Dolphins maintain round-the-clock visual vigilance
8. Grays Paradox solved: Researchers discover secret of speedy dolphins
9. Whales and dolphins influence new wind turbine design
10. Killer whales, blind bats, discriminating dolphins, mating birds
11. Mercury contamination found in stranded Victorian dolphins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/8/2016)... , March 8, 2016   Valencell , ... today announced it has secured $11M in Series ... Tech, a new venture fund being launched by ... participation from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ ... to continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... March 3, 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, ... highlighting advancements in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. ... attendance - have gathered for short courses, technical ... of electronics. The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 ... companies, R&D organizations, and universities contributing to the ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/wzwqtz/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Hospitality Sector 2016-2020" ... , , Global biometrics market in the ... of around 27%   --> ... addition of the  "Global Biometrics Market in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ... Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene Expression) Lab-on-a-chip ... user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), Fabrication Technology ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, growing at ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... In a list published by the Boston Business Journal, ... private companies; a small percentage of the state's 615,000+ small businesses. The list examined ... in revenue from 2012 to 2015. , As this award comes on ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... the addition of Dr. Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett ... served as Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... Wearable Tech + Digital Health ... take place on June 7-8, 2016, at the New York Academy of Sciences.  , ... -- including AR/VR, machine learning, apps, robotics and AI -- throughout a major health ...
Breaking Biology Technology: