A friend of mine just got back from Bimini with some incredible footage of Atlantic Spotted dolphins in the wild. The dive was organized through Bill & Nowdla Keefe’s Wild Dolphin Excursions (www.biminiundersea.com).
I am always skeptical about tours that involve up close and personal contact with wild animals, but I’ve been assured that these are dolphins viewed on their own terms in their own environment. Having first hand information that there was no feeding or coercion involved, I feel comfortable recommending this company as an environmentally responsible alternative to mainstream tourism.
Equally impressive is the fact that this tour company works closely with the Dolphin Communication Project (www.dolphincommunicationproject.org) which has ongoing world wide research programs.
In Bimini their focus is on spotting, counting, photographing and identifying individual dolphins. They have also designed special equipment to video tape the animals and record communication patterns. Definitely check out their website for the full story and for ways to support this important work.
Dolphin photo courtesy of Coleen Patrice.