Dolphins in the Solent – ‘a spectacular sight’

The Isle of Wight and surrounding areas heard multiple reports of dolphins last week. Locals enjoyed watching the friendly pod, swimming playfully near the Needles, a stunning and iconic landmark. 

Dolphin sightings

Britain’s waters have seen around 30 different species of whales and dolphins. From the heartwarming harbour porpoise to outstanding orcas. Some species of cetacean are seen frequently, others very rarely. Typically, the species of dolphins you are most likely to see are the common (Delphinus delphis) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins. Both can be sighted swimming in groups, known as pods.

Reef trust supporter, Robbie Stevenson reports on his sightings on the 11th and 13th of August.

“A pod of more than a dozen dolphins appeared to be actively feeding. They were chasing shoals of mackerel in a bay south of the Needles. What a spectacular sight! The third time I’ve seen this pod over the past couple of weeks.”

Keeping safe

Organisations such as BDMLR urge people not the enter the water with dolphins. “Interacting with dolphins runs the risk of zoonotic disease transfer, which is the passing of contagious diseases between humans and dolphins.”. Adding, “We appreciate how unusual and exciting it is to have the opportunity to see these majestic creatures from our shores, but please dolphin-watch responsibly from land. This ensures you and the dolphin stay safe.”

Report a sighting

The distribution of cetaceans provide scientists with information on ocean health. If you see any species of dolphins or whales, you can submit your sighting to the Sea Watch Foundation and contribute towards their database. Sea Watch also provide a  guide to species identification to help you work out the species of whale or dolphin you spotted.

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