Dolphin interaction may occur in the ” Interaction Zone” located in the shallow water in front of the centre. Ten dolphins are regular visitors to the Zone and dorsal fins are used to identify each dolphin.
The Bottlenose Dolphins are wild mammals, therefore their visits can occur at any time of the day and may last from between 5 minutes to 1 hour per visit. Historically speaking, visitations occur all year round but tend to occur more frequently during the months October through to April. As these are wild animals the centre cannot guarantee visits on any particular day or at any particular time, most frequent visitations tend to occur in the mornings.
Times have changed. Research now proves that unregulated and excessive feeding of wild dolphins alters their behaviour, leading to a “taming’” of wild animals.
The Dolphin Discovery Centre conducts feeding under regulation from the Department of Parks and Wildlife. This feeding regime is strictly controlled and limited to 350 grams of fish per day. This is a small amount given that, in order to survive, a dolphin in these waters needs approximately 8-14 kilograms of fish a day. The fish offered to the dolphins is local to the Bay and therefore of the same type that the dolphins catch themselves. Fish are not used if they are deemed not fit for human consumption. The dolphins within the Bay feed on various fish including whitebait, herring, flounder, garfish, mullet, cobbler, flat head, pilchards, skippy and tailor. They have also been known to catch octopus and cuttlefish.
In order to protect both the dolphins and people who visit the Interaction Zone, a strict set of guidelines must be followed:
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