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Old 13-09-2019, 06:43   #1
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Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

I was on vacation in Hawaii and charter boats take people out and they swim with dolphins. The dolphins are wild and there is no containment. Is this something that can be done safely anywhere? If so what are the do's and do not's? I live in Miami Florida and see dolphins all the time and friends and family always want to swim with them but I hesitate not knowing some ground rules first.

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https://youtu.be/iNQBdYW0Ys4
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:01   #2
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

I believe there is a federal law against harassing marine mammals, including approaching within 50 yds. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic...es-&-distances
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:14   #3
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

All those boats were right on top of the dolphins... You're right that link says 50 yards. But is it okay if the dolphins approached the boat and you jumped in the water?
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:35   #4
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

It's a non starter. They are to be left alone. Bes
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:43   #5
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

It would appear that these regulations were written by some bureaucrat sitting in an office somewhere. Dolphins and porpoises often approach boats and swim in the wakes or bow waves. I have had dolphins swim around me while diving and sea turtles are encountered quite often when diving and will sometimes approach within a few feet. I've had 70 foot fin whales surface within feet of my boat. I've had a pod of spotted dolphins play in my bow wave for more than hour. What was I supposed to do ask them to leave?
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:44   #6
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

In the Florida Keys we decided to jump in the water and interact with a school of dolphins.They were flapping their tails on the water rather hard. We could hear them but not see them. We ended up about five hundred yards from the boat.
After researching their body language we determined that they were telling us to back off.

They are wild animals, and really should be left alone. I'll never do that again.
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:45   #7
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

For the most part, the dolphins seem to be swimming AWAY from the people.

They don't seem to be being harassed though, more like bored.

@2:40 a guy is barfing over the side. Not very good editing imho.
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Old 13-09-2019, 07:48   #8
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Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

A lot of people act as if we are abusing and mistreating the animals, but I say if they are seeking the interaction, what’s the harm?
There used to be a pod that sat right at the entrance to Panama City, they were there to seek interactions with humans.
FWC would often be there, and often in disguise to “catch” and fine people who weren’t doing anything but stopping to interact with the dolphins.

Now if you have a group of Dolphins feeding or some other behavior then no, you shouldn’t bust into the middle of them and upset their behavior, but if they come over to you seeking interaction, what’s the harm of slipping in the water so they can get a look at you?

Animals seek interaction with people all the time, I have no idea why, but these sharks swim into a marina solely to interact with people, they come and go as they please.
How are you harming them by getting into the water and “petting” them? They are seeking the interaction, it’s not like your chasing them into a corner etc.Click image for larger version

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Old 13-09-2019, 07:57   #9
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptJimFrei View Post
I believe there is a federal law against harassing marine mammals, including approaching within 50 yds. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic...es-&-distances
A link in the 'More Information' box at the bottom of the page you linked to

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/new-e...fe-viewing-new

says in New England and the mid Atlantic you only need to stay 150ft away from dolphins, and what happens if you're in the water and they approach you?

I also wonder why a lot of these bits of info include the term 'guidelines'? anyone know (have links to) the law?
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Old 13-09-2019, 08:24   #10
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Perhaps those of you who want to cavort with wild animals, i.e. dolphins and the like, should consider dancing with the bears. It makes as much sense.
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Old 13-09-2019, 08:39   #11
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
For the most part, the dolphins seem to be swimming AWAY from the people.

They don't seem to be being harassed though, more like bored.

@2:40 a guy is barfing over the side. Not very good editing imho.
You missed @1:05 when the dolphin drops turds on the swimmer!
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Old 13-09-2019, 08:51   #12
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

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Perhaps those of you who want to cavort with wild animals, i.e. dolphins and the like, should consider dancing with the bears. It makes as much sense.
So your saying Scuba diving should be banned? Ins't the wild life interaction the main purpose of that activity?
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:09   #13
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

The regulation is very clear and straight forward. There is a difference between you approaching a marine mammal, and a marine mammal approaching you. One is illegal and the other is not.

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Old 13-09-2019, 09:24   #14
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Well no doubt some of you are going to hate this photo.

He came to the back of the boat, wouldnt leave us alone,we were in the water and he would just keep coming right upto us..

After an hour or so we decided to leave, he had no intention of leaving us.

This was in Madagascar.

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Old 13-09-2019, 09:29   #15
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Re: Rules of the Road for Swimming with Wild Dolphins

Probably trying to decide if you're good to eat.
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