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Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Dorset, United...
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Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

I have always wanted to swim with dolphins but ethically have never been able to bring myself to do it on holiday with captive dolphins. Last year we were going to book a trip when we out in Marsa but decided to do Harmarta instead . What is like on the trips do the dolphins get distressed with the people ? Looking for opinions from people that have done the trips thanks .

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21. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Thats a really helpful explanation Luke, however I don't think its as straighforward as saying it's only the snorkelling trips that are to blame for the harrassment is fair. Are you saying that no divers go on these trips?? I agree with you on every point except this. For far too long, there's been a real snobbery in the diving community about people who 'only' snorkel as if we are all ignorant plebs who know nothing about marine life and do nothing but harm. Some of us are more educated than our diving counterparts, so less of the put downs please!!

Marsa Alam, Egypt
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22. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Hi Jared - nothing to do with snorkelers vs divers. In fact, in all the years I've been here (8 and counting), I've only once seen spinner dolphins while on SCUBA, a very fleeting passing of the pod from some metres away. Spinners do not like the sound/shape/whatever of divers, whereas bottlenose do. So each and every magnificent encounter I've had with spinners has been as a snorkeler! When we used to go to Sataya, and as we now go to Samadai, we run mixed trips of divers and snorkelers. The divers often have some good quality dives to do in and around the reefs, but if they want a dolphin encounter it's grab the mask, fins and snorkel...

My terminology was about mass market organised tips and the kind of operators that run them. While it's fair to say the majority of the tourists going on these trips are snorkelers, it's not a slight on them nor snorkeling as an activity, purely the management and operation of the trip. As one poster above has written, they went on a snorkeling trip, were given a decent briefing and from what they saw it was well managed, which is great. Recently however there has been a huge uplift in tourists to the region, the mass excursion machine is starting to churn again, and a recent visitor to Sataya who posted above describes 150+ people chasing a small pod in 10 small boats. I am concerned that many of these tour organisers are running Sataya trips rather than Samadai (after all, most tourists are located much closer to Marsa Alam port than Hamata) because they can do exactly that, and so can 'guarantee' a dolphin encounter much more readily albeit fleeting and at the expense of the dolphins. The fact they save a bit of money by not buying a marine park ticket will also help. The same issues can be seen close to Ghalib in Marsa Mubarak, with scores of boats and hundreds of people surrounding the dugong at busy times, with attempts to touch him and ride him seen every day. In recent years, with tourism surpressed, this has not been the case as often, as most of the boats going there (with snorkelers and divers) were from the established, licensed centres whereas now the large uplift has brought in extra nomadic charter boats and new 'centres' with no history in the area, who have made deals with the travel agencies to take people out for 150le (travel agent's price) including lunch and taxes! What kind of investment can be made on vetting & training staff, not to mention safety controls, when you take a little over 7 euro per person and provide them with a full day on the boat including lunch and drinks? Diving can also be subject to exploitation by the mass market too, with the boats full of $10 'intro dives' in Sharm or Hurghada where often under-qualified divers take too many people too deep on their first ever experience well outside of any established training agency.

So my apologies if you read some snobbery into my post regarding diving vs snorkeling. I won't pretend it doesn't exist, believe me there's even snobbery within diving such as daily divers vs liveaboard divers, Tec divers vs recreational divers, but I don't subscribe to it. Anyone that enjoys the Red Sea as much as I do and cares for its long term health, is OK in my book no matter what gear they're wearing.

Best fishes,

Luke.

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Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam
Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
Marsa Mubarak
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Marsa Alam, Egypt
Hurghada
Hurghada
Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
Port Ghalib, Egypt
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23. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Not me Luke I think you mean Kabba.

I am no Diving snob and also like a good Snorkel.

Personally I have never looked on a Snorkeller any different to a Diver.

I enjoy the sea as a Diver as well as a Snorkeller and admittedly sometimes as a Diver you do not get to see some things a Snorkeller can.

Honestly I have never even looked at it there is snobbery at all. I have always had good fun with a mix of people on a boat.

I am the first to put my hand up and admit I do not know the difference between every fish I see and part of the fun for me is the camera then a big ruddy book in the evening trying to discover what they are.

Sometimes I am none the wiser then.

Like I said I don't see the snobbery but that is just me.

I do understand the likes of the trips in Hurghada and Sharm sometimes where they pack boats out for £10 a head..

If everyone was given basic guidance on what is and what is not allowed then everything would be easier..

People love the sea and should totally enjoy it for what it has to offer.

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Hurghada
Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
Port Ghalib, Egypt
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24. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Not me Luke I think you mean Kabba.

I am no Diving snob and also like a good Snorkel.

Personally I have never looked on a Snorkeller any different to a Diver.

I enjoy the sea as a Diver as well as a Snorkeller and admittedly sometimes as a Diver you do not get to see some things a Snorkeller can.

Honestly I have never even looked at it there is snobbery at all. I have always had good fun with a mix of people on a boat.

I am the first to put my hand up and admit I do not know the difference between every fish I see and part of the fun for me is the camera then a big ruddy book in the evening trying to discover what they are.

Sometimes I am none the wiser then.

Like I said I don't see the snobbery but that is just me.

I do understand the likes of the trips in Hurghada and Sharm sometimes where they pack boats out for £10 a head..

If everyone was given basic guidance on what is and what is not allowed then everything would be easier..

People love the sea and should totally enjoy it for what it has to offer.

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Hurghada
Hurghada
Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
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25. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Thanks for clarifying this Luke. My apologies if I read too much into what you were trying to say. I'm room bound for a week due to my daughter having a riding accident and feeling sore (me) due to no snorkelling...I do stand by what I say about the snobbery though, and have been subjected to it on more than one dive boat / destination let me tell you! The company we went to Sataya with was not one of the 150 LE brigade, but an established diving company, who shall remain nameless, but despite the briefings not to chase the dolphins etc, it still happened due the nature of them trying to fulfil peoples desire to swim with dolphins and dropping us into the water with all the other swimmers just in front of the pod. I agree that regulation should also be looked at, as its the only way to protect these beautiful creatures, although this would be hard to enforce at a distance from shore like Sataya. I think if enough pressure is applied then eventually this will happen...inshallah

sg2
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26. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Kabba

If you were with a dive company/boat where they or staff ignored the guidelines about interaction with dolphins , then i would have words with the management

I know full well that Luke or his base leader would want to know if staff were not leading by example when it comes to this sort of thing.

i did it with another company , when a trainee Dive Master lplaced his hand / lent on a large turtle at abu dabab , twice , we had video evidence which was played to the whole group divers and snorkelers, and he was told by the dive company do it again and he would be off the course .

unless people speak up then these practises continue , its only by education we can try to balance these things between giving people an experience they want and protecting the animals we love

Edited: 18 August 2017, 21:10
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27. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Good idea, I will email them directly. Hadn't thought of that!

Marsa Alam, Egypt
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28. Re: Wild dolphins to swim with them or not .

Sorry Jared for thinking that was you - hadn't had a coffee and mistook the profile picture for yours (pinnacles, beach huts, what's the difference?)

Kabba no problem, I can understand the desire to get back out in the Red sea, I hope your daughter is better soon.

By the way, I'm not suggesting that customers can ever pay 150LE...that's an indication of the kind of deal the tour operators make with some service providers...there is of course a large margin added before selling to a tourist. Nest/vipers.

Luke.

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