Sociale dolfijnen

dony2003jun27_rt1Er zijn her en der verschillende sociale dolfijnen die bewust contact zoeken met mensen. Is dit een leuk fenomeen of moeten we er alert voor zijn? is showing signs of life again after a long period of quiet and we’ve done lots of updates to the site over the last couple of months. There was considerable excitement in September as Dony suddenly left his habitual haunts in France and turned up on the south coast of England.
As he headed steadily westward, we did wonder for while if he might not return all the way ‘home’ to Ireland, but it was not to be and he is now back in Brittany again. Latest reports have him hanging around in the nuclear submarine base at Ile Longue, in the French Navy harbour at Brest, which is of course a highly restricted area! Typical Dony.

Dusty meanwhile had a good summer with lots of attention and she spent a long time settled at the White Strand near Miltown Malbay. In October she came up with a very ugly looking skin ailment, a rash of exploding lesions which nobody seems able to diagnose, but fortunately they also healed very quickly and she seems to be on great form still, although once again unpredictable as to location.

Fungie is much the same as ever, still patrolling his small territory at the mouth of Dingle harbour and mostly interested in small boats rather than snorkellers or divers. The Dingle Boatmen report a marked drop-off in interest in their Fungie trips, perhaps because they have priced themselves out of the market or perhaps everyone in Ireland has already been out with them at least once! No news from the Tory Island dolphin recently but lots of sightings of all sorts of whales and dolphins from all around the Irish coast line.

Meanwhile in the rest of Europe however the situation is not so rosy and the increasing numbers of dolphins wanting to interact with people have met with a confused response on the part of the supposed dolphin conservationists and the local authorities they advise.

In England and France in particular, this has led to the harassment of both the dolphins and the people who come to swim with them. We haven’t yet got involved in the growing public debate about this, but would certainly like to redress the balance as regards the negative press the dolphins and their admirers have been getting.

In France, a new ‘Dony Institute’ is currently being launched with this in mind, as well as the general aim of promoting the study of the interactive dolphinphenomenon. It seems a good time to make some links across borders, just as the dolphins do, so we are now in the early stages of planning an international conference on the subject of interactive dolphins, to which we invite your response.

The current plan is to hold it in Dingle in May 2008, with a main theme of ‘Communication’. Full details are on the website and we warmly invite all interested parties to take a look there and give us feedback as soon as possible

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