There is nothing like seeing a wild animal in its own habitat. If you have only seen dolphins in an aquarium or a marine zoo park, you cannot imagine the feeling of watching them in the wild nature. Once you see a family of dolphins or small whales in the wild surroundings, it will be difficult for you to imagine dolphins, kept separate from their families, living in an enclosure not much larger than a swimming pool and performing human-devised tricks for dead food.
Over the past decade, a dolphin watch has become an exciting, inspiring activity of growing popularity around the world. More and more people are making dolphin watching a part of their holidays, as it has never been easier to visit and see dolphins in their natural environment. There is a wide range of tours both land-based for those, who would prefer to watch from a cliff or lookout, and cruise tours, available on every type of boat.
Dolphins often approach them of their own accord, as they are naturally inquisitive and playful. However, every trip is different and determined by the dolphins, whether they are feeding, traveling or socializing. Some trips find them in a boisterous mood, leaping clear of the water, while on the other tours they may be less interested in visitors and more involved in getting on with their lives.
Through the years of observation, some dolphin watch companies have become familiar with the dolphin's patterns and even recognize individuals within the group. Calves are born each year and are usually a part of the groups, people see during the boat trips.
As a rule, Dolphin Watch Ecotours are owned and operated by highly qualified marine biologists that, along with a highly trained and knowledgeable staff, take the needed time to locate, describe and photograph the various dolphins (dusky dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, Hector's dolphins, common dolphins and the very occasional orcas)
Dolphins are not only beautiful and fun to watch, they are an important part of a very complex and fragile ecosystem. As an indicator species, dolphins are a barometer of the health of our coastal waters. Providing a safe and peaceful place to live and raise their young, sufficient natural food, clean water and air should be the main goal and responsibility for all of us, whether residents or visitors.
It is important to remember that dolphins are wild animals and sightings cannot be guaranteed, as well as it is hard to estimate the affect of such disturbance. Dolphin watch companies should make every effort to minimize it, following an agreed code of practice and personal expertise. The presence of young vulnerable individuals in the pods is another special reason, why we must watch them responsibly and continue to protect the environment where they live. Dolphin watching in the wild nature, which is only commercial, is a wasted opportunity. At its best, it should teach people to appreciate whales and dolphins, help researchers study them, contribute to the conservation of the animals and help ensure the economic security of local communities, which serve as protectors of marine habitat.