Dolphins

Dolphin and calf in TofoFrom the Quirimbas in the north to Ponta do Ouro in the south, throughout the year at least some marine mammals can be encountered. Mozambique’s vast coastline is home to some 30 different species of dolphins, whales and the endangered dugong. Coastal shallows find populations of gregarious bottlenose and illusive humpback dolphins and the offshore, deeper depths find inhabitants such as the smaller spinner, spotted and common dolphins. In Ponta do Ouro the longterm monitoring of the resident dolphins in the area has been undertaken since the mid 90’s and data suggests a population of some 250 individuals who are catalogued on DolphinCare’s database. As coastal tourism continues to grow along the vast coastline, marine mammal based tourism will grow exponentially. Unfortunately this can and has previously been seen to do so at the cost of the animals encountered who are forced to change natural behaviors, have a relatively high calf mortality rate and are subject to fishing line entanglement and harassment. After many years the southern most region of Mozambique that boarders the iSimangaliso world heritage site was proclaimed a partial marine protected reserve [PPMR] in 2009. This has resulted in limited amounts of operators and the following of a Dolphincare code of conduct to ensure limiting the stress caused to marine mammals through encounters with humans. Research updates and info on how the Dolphins of Ponta are doing can be found here. Contributing authors include but are not limited to researchers Diana Rocha and Angie Gullan.