Dolphin Watching Tips: Responsible Ways to Watch Dolphins
Here at Florida Dolphin Watch, we believe that the best ways to have a dolphin experience is to watch them at their natural habitat. While many dolphins in captivity are well-taken cared for by their caretakers, they are still constrained by their surroundings. The interactions they have with humans who feed and play with them can also affect their wellbeing and ability to survive in the wild if they get the chance to go back to the oceans where they came from.
One of the best ways to help dolphin and wildlife conservation efforts is to promote responsible dolphin watching activities and behaviors. Here are some simple ways to do that:
Choose the right tour operators
Look for dolphin watching tour operators that support ethical practices. Preferably, find those that advocate conservation efforts and not just see the tours as purely business. They should equally be invested in protecting the dolphins from irresponsible behaviors during the tours. With the trip
Support knowledgeable guides
Find skippers or tour guides who are knowledgeable about dolphins. A good dolphin watching experience is when you get off the boat knowing more about dolphins than when before you started with the trip. These are the kind of people and business that you would want to put your money into.
There are some operators who may not be honest or straightforward when citing affiliations. Some just put names of trusted organizations even if they are not bona fide members. If you want to confirm such memberships, make time to check the websites of the organizations cited to see if the tour operator is listed.
Take note of irresponsible practices
Observe the skipper’s behaviors when moving towards sighted dolphins. The least you can do is to take note of irresponsible behaviors that could potentially put dolphins at risk so you can make a report to the proper authorities after your tour.
Be more selective during peak season
Avoiding the crowd during the peak season could also mean missing out on the many sightings you can have during that period. One of the downsides of the busy season is that some tour operators become short-handed when it comes to fielding their most knowledgeable and experienced crews. They may resort to allowing less responsible skippers or guides to handle tours to accommodate the influx of tourists. The best thing you can do is to be more selective in picking an operator to ensure that you do not become part of unethical dolphin watching activities or practices.