Dolphins have a very special place in my heart and spirit. I think I meet a soul when I encounter a wild dolphin. There is a special “connection.” Dolphins are referenced back to the writings of Aristotle and had a mystical importance during ancient Greek and Roman eras. Dolphins, whales, and porpoises are all cetaceans and there some 80 recognized species throughout the world. Dolphins are toothed whales – Odontocetes. Like all whales, they are highly intelligent. Dolphins live in highly functioning social family groups and are sentient beings.
Like many animals that call our oceans home, dolphins face many human threats: ocean pollution, oil spills, mercury poisoning, acoustical pollution, indiscriminate killing from commercial fishing fleets, and their outright slaughter in such places as Taiji, Japan. If you want more information on the “dark side” of what is happening to dolphins and whales around the world, I suggest viewing: the Oscar winning documentary The Cove (The Cove), HBO’s Blackfish (Blackfish), and Sonic Sea (Sonic Sea). There are numerous marine organizations dedicated to preserving our planet’s oceans and the amazing species that live in our oceans. I will provide a list of these outstanding organizations in a future posting on my website.
Dolphins do not belong in marine parks or aquariums. In the wise words of Jacque Cousteau, “no aquarium, no tank in a marine land however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.”
If you have the opportunity to snorkel with wild dolphins, this experience will be something that you will never forget. And, hopefully it will be an encounter established on conditions set by the dolphins.