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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

WDC welcomes two new Florida businesses to Dolphin SMART

WDC, one of the founding partners of the Dolphin SMART program, welcomes two new Florida businesses to the voluntary outreach program. Odyssey Cruises and Captain Dennis Wilson Charters in Tarpon Springs join 16 other Dolphin SMART participating operators in the program designed to promote the conservation of dolphins in coastal waterways through responsible viewing and public stewardship.

Originating in Key West, Florida, Dolphin SMART was launched by WDC, NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Dolphin Ecology Project in 2007. The Program expanded to Alabama in 2008 before launching in Hawaii in 2011. Dolphin SMART recognizes businesses that responsibly advertise and view wild dolphins and educate their patrons on dolphin conservation. Odyssey Cruises and Captain Dennis Wilson are committed to bringing responsible viewing to waterways around Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Viewing dolphins safely and responsibly, and advertising responsible viewing practices, are cornerstones of the Dolphin SMART program. Close viewing of wild dolphins may disrupt important natural behaviors such as resting, feeding, and nursing and result in negative impacts to the health of dolphin groups and their young.

There are now 18 recognized businesses in Florida and Hawaii in the steadily growing Dolphin SMART program. WDC encourages visitors to these areas to “look before you book” and support wild dolphin conservation by patronizing a Dolphin SMART business. A list of Dolphin SMART businesses is available online.

Participating businesses display a Dolphin SMART flag and decal with the current calendar year. Participants are regularly evaluated to ensure they continue to voluntarily meet program standards.

The “SMART” acronym is a reminder of the basic principles of dolphin viewing etiquette:
• Stay at least 50 yards from dolphins,
• Move away slowly if the dolphins show signs of disturbance,
• Always put your vessel engine in neutral when dolphins are near,
• Refrain from feeding, touching, or swimming with wild dolphins,
• Teach others to be Dolphin SMART.