Discouragingly though organisations in Greece still hold dolphins and other sea creatures in captivity for entertainment purposes.
Educating yourself or your children about the life of dolphins does not necessarily require visiting dolphins in captivity.
For a children friendly educational manual visit www.pelagosinstitute.gr/en/children/index.html
There are many ways to encourage awareness of marine life and to actively support it by protecting our waters and the life in it.
By raising awareness of dolphins in the Ionian Sea we would like to see the return of abundant dolphin populations in nearby waters.
The striped dolphin is a streamlined oceanic dolphin, similar in shape and size to the common dolphin and measuring up to 2.3 metres in length that lives in the Ionian Sea.
The body length of Mediterranean striped dolphins is generally shorter than in oceanic
populations (reaching 2.6 m).
According to the Ionian Project species guide:
“It has a long beak, a large curved dorsal fin and short tapered pectoral fins. Striped dolphins have a distinct colour pattern: the beak, melon, back, dorsal and pectoral fins are dark grey whilst the throat and belly are very pale; there are usually three dark grey stripes running from the eye to the anus, one to the pectoral fin and a third short stripe between the other two; the eyes are normally outlined by a dark patch; starting above the eye, a blaze of pale grey sweeps along each flank. The stripes and coloured patterns become more evident as the Striped Dolphin gets older.”
According to IUCN Red List classification: Mediterranean striped dolphin sub-population proposed as Vulnerable
” The Striped Dolphin is the only species that takes part in roto-tailing. This is the process of leaping very high out of the water. While it is out of the water, they rapidly rotate the tail while in midair. The jumps can be up to 20 feet in the air! This particular dolphin is extremely active, and they are known to take part in a variety of manoeuvres. They may bow ride, breach, and they are quite vocal. They make a variety of whistling and clicking sounds to communicate with each other. All dolphins do this, but the Striped Dolphins seem to engage in it much more” www.dolphins-world.com
Striped Dolphins do not leap out of the water for human pleasure or entertainment!
Image Courtesy of: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration