While we are looking forward to a relaxing summer holiday in the Bay of Islands, it is the busy time for our dolphins.
“Lots of people enjoy seeing the dolphins and that’s really cool,” says the Department of Conservation’s Bay of Islands marine mammals ranger, Karen Mitchell, “but they are wild animals and really do need their time out from people, especially during the holidays.”
Karen asks that boaties in the Bay respect a few simple courtesies.
“We really like to give all dolphins and whales a break, so we ask people to leave them alone between 11.30am and 1pm. This means they can do what they need to do without having to worry about any boats around them.”
“Boats approaching dolphins should come in slowly – at ‘no wake’ speed – from behind. Please do not drive through a pod or cut them off.”
“Remember no more than three boats at once within 300m of dolphins. Please wait for your turn and keep it short and sweet – around 10 minutes – so that everyone has an opportunity to see the dolphins.”
“Please don’t swim with calves (less than a metre in length) or juveniles (less than two metres); they’re just too little to know how to cope with us.”
“We are all looking to eat, sleep and relax over the holidays and it’s important that the dolphins get enough rest from boat interaction as they may get tired which can affect their health and reproduction”, says Karen.
Enjoy your summer holiday and remember that with our consideration the dolphins in the Bay of Islands can have a relaxing summer holiday as well.