Boatowners across the Bailiwick are being urged to act responsibly around dolphins in local waters.
This follows recent reports received by Guernsey Harbours of boatowners acting irresponsibly around pods.
Guernsey Harbours along with the Marine Biology section of La Societe Guernesiaise are calling for all vessel operators to act responsibly if they encounter a pod of dolphins in local waters, and have produced a guide to help boatowners to interact in a safe way.
There has been an increase in sightings of the marine mammals, and the vast majority of vessel operators behave around them in a responsible manner.
The General Manager of Ports Colin Le Ray said:
"Guernsey Harbours takes a very dim view of boatowners and operators who harass, harm, and interfere with the dolphins in their marine environment. It's very disappointing and concerning to hear a small minority of vessel operators, have in the past, been harassing these intelligent creatures in local waters."
"We would urge all islanders to take heed of the advice produced by the La Societe, so sightings of these creatures, which have been widely shared on social media platforms, can be enjoyed by everyone, but at the same time, ensure that these interactions don't harm or interfere in the dolphins' welfare or natural behaviour."
Laura Bampton, the Marine Biology Section Secretary at La Societe said:
"It's important to keep your distance from dolphins and let them approach you - they are curious animals and will come to you if they want to! Try to keep 100 metres away unless the dolphins approach you, and try not to overcrowd a pod of dolphins, only three vessels should observe a pod of dolphins at any one time, and never set a course straight for them." 2
"You should never try to swim with, touch or feed these wild animals, for your safety and theirs. Dolphins can be aggressive, and touching dolphins can be dangerous as they carry diseases that are transmittable to humans, including brucellosis."
Attached is the guide for boatowners and operators viewing wild dolphins at sea.