When people swim with dolphins, they’re thinking about themselves rather than the animal at hand. This leads to many encounters with dolphins being unethical which in turn has a negative effect on the animals. With that being said, we are finding more ways to enjoy the presence of these majestic creatures without harming them or disrupting their natural instincts. Read on to find out how you can be part of the change to contribute to ethical encounters with dolphins instead.
How does it affect dolphins?
When humans have too many encounters with dolphins in unethical ways, it can cause the dolphins to be distressed. What this does is affect the natural order of the dolphins lifestyle which can cause ongoing health and social problems.
They’re extremely sociable animals, yet when they get stressed, they can isolate themselves from the rest of their pod, stop eating, and even have respiratory problems. If they stay in a stressed state for too long, these symptoms can become detrimental to their overall wellbeing.
Can you swim with dolphins in an eco-friendly way?
Yes, there are some ways to enjoy encounters with dolphins without damaging the local environment or causing harm to the animals. The main way to do this is to head to a place where dolphins have been seen and get in the water (if safe) to swim yourself. The only way to maintain a completely ethical experience and dolphin interaction is to avoid touching the animals or getting too close. If they come near you, then that’s great and you should count yourself as lucky. You should never chase or follow a dolphin by getting in its personal space.
Are there any ethical ecotours instead?
Dolphin Swim by E-ko Tours
Located in New Zealand, E-ko Tours offers an ethical experience swimming with wild dolphins. Unlike other destinations that have multiple tour companies near the same pod of dolphins, this tour company is the only one operating in the local area so they can make sure the dolphins are not overwhelmed or distressed. Plus they are certified by the Department of Conservation and give a portion of their tour proceeds right back to charities that support the environment.
Bimini Dolphin swim
Located in the Bahamas, this tour company takes the wellbeing of dolphins very seriously. They have a code of conduct with other operators in the area. They won’t allow guests to swim with dolphins if the pod appears to be resting, and they won’t let the vessels get too close to the dolphins to avoid disturbing their peace.
Indigo Ocean Dolphin Swim
Based in Hawai’i, this tour where you can swim with dolphins has regulations in place that forbid boats or humans from being within 50-yards of a specific dolphin species. This protects the dolphins, but doesn’t stop the visitors from having a great dolphin interaction. These dolphins have a set routine and when calm and happy, tend to do the same things every day at the same time! This is great for tour operators who want to see these animals as the schedule is already created by nature.
So there you have it. If you love these aquatic mammals and want to experience an ethical swim with dolphins tour without being part of the unethical crowd, then make sure to use companies that operate in a sustainable manner like those listed above. It’s important to give our business to tours that truly care about the wellbeing of dolphins.
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