Dolphins spark a unique fascination in us humans. To swim, snorkel, or even dive with them, is always a special highlight of a vacation. We should however never forget, that we are “visitors” in their world, and as such, we have to respect the rules and requirements of THEIR surroundings.
To behave correctly, one needs to also know what NOT to do.
Our dive center management, Sandra and Jens, have thus invited Angela Ziltener, of the Organization Dolphin Watch Alliance, to present our staff her newest findings of her research, give tips and suggestions on how to respectfully treat and handle dolphins, and update us on the latest regulations and laws of the Egyptian government to protect the dolphins. (Yes, these regulations and laws do actually exist, even if, unfortunately, not everyone is following them)
Furthermore, Angela has visited our Dolphin-tours to “Shab Samadai” and “Dolphinhouse” to get a clear idea of what is happening on site to date.
Her findings were generally positive. There have been several protection zones that have been created along the reef, which are being respected. These are overlooked by a Ranger of the HEPCA (THE marine conservation organization in Egypt) who is constantly present to insure the compliance of the regulations.
Angela had noted a couple of indicators, which can help select the right tour operator for dolphin tours. ( her advice: Do not only look at the price) Her goal is to establish long lasting sustainable dolphin tourism, so that we can enjoy the company of dolphins for many years to come.
A responsible tour operator:
- Ensures their tour has the least amount of impact to the environment and the animals, complying with regulations for the protection of the dolphins.
- Gives no guarantee for sightings, as this is unrealistic, since we are talking about wild animals in their natural habitat. Such promises are giving the crew and guides additional pressure, to hunt them down, no matter the cost, if a sighting occurs last minute.
- Insures everyone is wearing swim wests. (It is the LAW)
- Communicates clear and understandable expectations about sightings and behavior of the animals. Offers information about the biology of the animals, their natural habitat and the dangers they are exposed to.
- Takes part in training of staff and team members and supports research and environmental protection.
We thank Angela for her visit and her many educational presentations. Hopefully we will have the pleasure of welcoming her back very soon again. Until then, we wish her only the best and may she continue to spread her “fighting spirit”!
Sandra, Jens and the entire Coraya Divers Team