Visitors to the Alabama coast love to watch dolphins and other marine life in the wild. It is truly an amazing, breathtaking sight to experience.
Often, dolphins can be admired from the beach. But when we venture out on a boat, we humans can be too much for them. When we approach wild dolphins too closely, move too fast or make too much noise, we risk disturbing their natural behaviors such as migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding and sheltering.
No one wants to do that, so there are simple rules to follow.
First, don’t feed dolphins. Ever. They are natural hunters, but when people offer them food they learn begging behavior and lose their fear of humans. That can cause injuries to dolphins when they get too close to boats or lose survival skills.
Stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins when you spot them. Appreciate from a distance. Don’t chase them, either. If they are curious, they will come to the boat. With that in mind, keep the boat in neutral while you enjoy watching them.
Also, do not swim with dolphins. It’s tempting to try, but that can be dangerous for them and you.
Keep in mind that the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits harassment, hunting, capturing, killing or feeding dolphins.