RESPONSIBLE DOLPHIN WATCHING
Amvrakikos Gulf is one of the few places in the world where you can watch dolphins all year round as it’s the home of a highly ‘resident’ population of roughly 150 bottlenose dolphins! Although the Gulf is protected as part of a larger National Park, it’s biodiversity and the dolphins population facing significant threat by high and increasing eutrophication and pollution.
We believe that by informing our guests about the fragile ecosystem of Amvrakikos Gulf we can begin fixing the problems that threaten it.
And now we are pleased to announce that Eco cruising in collaboration with the Ionian Dolphin Project has committed to promote responsible viewing and prevent disturbance and harassment of wild dolphins, by following the Dolphin Smart guidelines.
Stay back 50 metres from dolphins
Move away cautiously if dolphins/whales show signs of disturbance (sudden change in behaviour)
Always put your engine in neutral when dolphins/whales are near
Refrain from feeding, touching, or swimming with wild dolphins
Teach others to be DOLPHIN SMART
Since 1991, the Ionian Dolphin Project (IDP), by Tethys Research Institute, works to ensure the long-term viability of dolphin species living in coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea. The coastal waters of Greece still harbour a remarkable diversity of whales and dolphins compared to other parts of the Mediterranean. Yet, such richness is decreasing due to degradation of the marine environment.
In 2001 Tethys Research Institute started a study in the Gulf of Ambracia, also referred as Gulf of Amvrakikos, where bottlenose dolphins are the only cetacean species encountered. On-going research showed that roughly 150 dolphins inhabit the Gulf. These dolphins are members of a highly ‘resident’ community, displaying unique behaviour and ecology. Research carried out by the IDP is documenting how the local dolphin community interacts with its environment and how human activities may influence its conservation status.
Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus, the most coastal cetacean species in the Mediterranean Sea, have been negatively affected in numerous ways by human activities. Until the 1960s, they have been one of the main targets of culling campaigns, resulting in thousands of animals killed. In recent times, incidental mortality in fishing gear, prey depletion caused by overfishing, habitat degradation, boat traffic, noise, and health effects caused by pollution are important threats. Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins are classified as Vulnerable in the Red List assessment by International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN.