Respect Nature,

Respect Dolphins!

Save and honour them!

Human - Dolphin

Interaction and approach!

The right approach out of respect and let be.

It is not only important to receive the beauty dolphins offer us, but for us to approach them actively in a correct, well-considered way. Their reefs, which originated naturally, are resting places to feed and cherish their young ones; it is of the utmost importance that we respect this and leave them the necessary space in their habitat before starting to swim with them.
Large groups of people put too much pressure on them and when swimmers jump into the water all at once, they are startled. The best thing to do is to go for a dolphin trip with small groups of about 12 people to put the least possible pressure on them, more focus on quality than on quantity.
If you approach them directly they might leave and be chased to other places less favorable for them. Out of the right approach you invite them to come to you, unconstrained and freely.
It is best to go into the water from the big boat anchored near the reef, as such they are not disturbed by the noise of zodiacs, loss of oil and the intrusion of zodiacs in their groups.
If they are too far away from the big boat it is possible to sail safely in their direction in the zodiac and wait for the signal of the dolphin guide to know if they invite us to swim with them yes or no. If yes, two people in turn can calmly glide into the water. When these two people interact with the dolphins it is advisable that the ones in the zodiac support this happening energetically while observing, which is also a wonderful experience; after this, two other people can enter the water, until everybody has had his (her) session.
In this way every member gets his (her) chance to have intensive contact with the dolphins and open himself(herself) for the essence of their being.
This method is employed in the Azores, where there are strict controls from the authority and nature organizations; these operate from check points on land, observing dolphins and whales with binoculars. There are big fines and even loss of navigation licenses at stake, which makes that no captain breaks these rules.
In this way the dolphins are not disturbed in their natural habitat and stay with us.
The faster we swim, the faster the dolphins swim.
The slower we swim, the slower the dolphins swim.
It’s up to you to make your choice, for the well-being of the dolphins and yourself.

Letter to H E P C A

To who it may belong,

Subject: dolphin-human-interaction and approach
Date : 06-08-2010
Place: Egypt Sataaya

Our group of Dolphin Global Trust, facilitated by ocean, was observing the dolphins in the red sea on the safari boat "sea dream” we chose this boat because of their attitude towards the dolphins.
When we arrived in Sataaya we saw a very peace full image: 2 canoes on the water surrounded by dolphins, relaxed without any fear of human beings. They were in their own space and free to interact or not.

One day - august 5 - we approached the dolphins in a respectful and honorable way, as the students were teaches like. Suddenly, we were surrounded by a race of big safari boats and zodiacs. We had the most shocking experience with "el almere angham"; a child of our group was accepted in the middle of a pod of dolphins and almost hit by the boat.
Because of here sensitivity, she experienced the high degree of stress and saw the behavior of the dolphins change when the boat dropped the high amount of people from the back deck.
They jumped into the water as an explosion, to have a glimb of the dolphins who directly swam away. For safety our guides guided everyone to return to our zodiacs and did not allow them to enter the water again. Suddenly out of the blue, a zodiac passed by coming from the back of our zodiac in fast speed and drove through the pod dolphins who took refuge to our zodiac. Their engine was running very fast which disturbs the dolphins, particular in this period of the year with their just born baby's.
This was not ok for us. We signed them to slow down. The zodiac belongs to the safari boat "aldebaran: they shouted to our guide and driver that our way of behavior was not correct. However our statement worldwide is the education of right behavior and approach with the dolphins:
'never chase dolphins by swimming or by zodiac in order not to harm or stress them and to avoid separating dolphins to the pod at large'

  • respect nature
  • respect dolphins
  • protect and honor them

The driver of the other zodiac started to insult our zodiac driver and guide. He asked us why we took space while we did not jump into the water. They put pressure on our guides and drivers by bad expressions. We stayed 5 minutes longer by concerning about the dolphins and connected the 2 zodiacs as a floating platform for a few minutes. The dolphins stayed around and under our zodiacs. We left back to the sea dream and after 10 minutes they came to our boat to complain. We were surprised for such an untruthful behavior.
Our hearts were deeply touched by this situation, worldwide we experience the highest respect and behavior  in approaching  the dolphins. Our wish is that this could be realized in Egypt as well.
After so many years experience of Ocean we became aware how to behave with the dolphins. We felt and experienced the difference between chasing dolphins by human emotions or to approach them with respect and just let them be.
We are thank full with the crew, that they accept Ocean's vision and act in according to this.
After this night mare we  experienced also  the beauty to reunite both cultures in the heart of the dolphins.
We expect that this letter will be taken in consideration. It is not our intention to fight or blame others but to open a way to educate more people how to behave with the dolphins and lift the quality that both parties benefit, people and dolphins.
In this way we create a possibility for real interaction and not a cheap circus act. We wish that this area Sataaya will be treated as a sanctuary  for the dolphins, what they deserve.
In attachment some pictures taken in Sataaya from some injury of the dolphins.

In the name of the dolphins

In love and respect

S.O.S for the Dolphins at Shab Samadai Reef

Wadi Gimal Protectorate, Red Sea, Egypt

Non-eco-friendly Dolphin Watch Tours, which are heavily advertised and organized by tour operators in Hurghada endanger the survival of a small local population of Spinner Dolphins in Egyptian waters, located at Shab Samadai Reef near Marsa Alam.

Scientific research on this species in Hawaii has shown that Spinner Dolphins feed at night in deep waters and rest during daytime in shallow bays and reef lagoons, where the animals also mate and females give birth and suckle their young

Every nature lover will therefore be truly shocked by witnessing the increasing hordes of visitors which are being forced upon the Egyptian Spinner Dolphins at Shab Samadai day after day.

Eyewitnesses report approx. 3o boats daily, with 2o to 4o passengers on board each vessel heading to Shab Samadai on a regular basis. One has not to be a trained marine biologist to worry about this situation, while those day-trips are having an enormously damaging impact on the dolphin's behaviour and their natural habitat. Since the tours are not closely monitored by National Park Rangers, reef damage caused by anchors and pollution are already severe in this area. A total ban for anchoring boats, which has been established in 2002 by the EEAA (Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency) for instance, is being widely ignored by boat captains and crews. Heavy pollution of the sea caused by human waste and garbage, or oil and fuel leaks from badly maintained boats, has already fouled the once pristine waters of Shab Samadai Reef. Not to mention the crowds of people in the lagoon and under water, the racing zodiacs with roaring outboard-engines, handled by irresponsible boatmen who try to direct the dolphins towards their excited guests, etc., etc

These Dolphin-Watch-Tours have nothing to do with Eco-Tourism, on the contrary they're highly environmentally unsound and purely profit-oriented (78,- Euros per person) It's an unworthy spectacle, causing much stress to the dolphins unnecessarily and heartbreak to every true dolphin-lover.

Every diver, snorkeler, tourist, tour guide and -operator should be aware of the sad fact that each ticket sold will only lead faster to the destruction, or worse extinction of another gem of Egyptian wildlife: instead of being saved and protected, as it should be, according to Egyptian Environmental Law (since 1982) and National Park regulations, a species of precious marine mammals is being sacrificed on the altar of profit-making and mass tourism. The loss of these magnificent animals will be enormous, not only for Egypt but all mankind.

For the sake and welfare of our Spinner Dolphins at Shab Samadai Reef, we, the undersigned concerned local and foreign animal lovers - beg the responsible Egyptian authorities urgently, to save and protect all marine mammals in the Red Sea and to investigate organized Dolphin Watch-Tours thoroughly. Thank you very much!

Renate Hubinger

ESAF - Member / Hurghada

Dr. Hanafi (EEAA Hurghada)
MHanafy@eepp-psu.org
Mobile: 012 229 1609

Dr. Moustafa Fouda (Director of EEAA - Nature Conservation Sector)
Foudamos@link.net
eeaa4@idsc.gov.eg

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