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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

WDC welcomes two new Florida businesses to Dolphin SMART

WDC, one of the founding partners of the Dolphin SMART program, welcomes two new Florida businesses to the voluntary outreach program. Odyssey Cruises and Captain Dennis Wilson Charters in Tarpon Springs join 16 other Dolphin SMART participating operators in the program designed to promote the conservation of dolphins in coastal waterways through responsible viewing and public stewardship.

Originating in Key West, Florida, Dolphin SMART was launched by WDC, NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Dolphin Ecology Project in 2007. The Program expanded to Alabama in 2008 before launching in Hawaii in 2011. Dolphin SMART recognizes businesses that responsibly advertise and view wild dolphins and educate their patrons on dolphin conservation. Odyssey Cruises and Captain Dennis Wilson are committed to bringing responsible viewing to waterways around Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Viewing dolphins safely and responsibly, and advertising responsible viewing practices, are cornerstones of the Dolphin SMART program. Close viewing of wild dolphins may disrupt important natural behaviors such as resting, feeding, and nursing and result in negative impacts to the health of dolphin groups and their young.

There are now 18 recognized businesses in Florida and Hawaii in the steadily growing Dolphin SMART program. WDC encourages visitors to these areas to “look before you book” and support wild dolphin conservation by patronizing a Dolphin SMART business. A list of Dolphin SMART businesses is available online.

Participating businesses display a Dolphin SMART flag and decal with the current calendar year. Participants are regularly evaluated to ensure they continue to voluntarily meet program standards.

The “SMART” acronym is a reminder of the basic principles of dolphin viewing etiquette:
• Stay at least 50 yards from dolphins,
• Move away slowly if the dolphins show signs of disturbance,
• Always put your vessel engine in neutral when dolphins are near,
• Refrain from feeding, touching, or swimming with wild dolphins,
• Teach others to be Dolphin SMART.