Everyone loves that thrill you get when you see a dolphin splashing in the wild. But there are measures we should take to keep them safe.
Dolphin SMART is a program that encourages responsible viewing of these magnificent marine mammals. It was launched in 2007 by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries because of the number of dolphin viewing tours in their area. The program is now sanctioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While the program was developed specifically with dolphin cruise companies in mind, anyone who enjoys boating can implement the policies to prevent harassment and disruptions of dolphins in their natural habitat. SMART is an acronym that will help you remember these precautions:
Stay back 50 yards from dolphins.
Move cautiously away if dolphins show signs of distress or disturbance.
Always put boat engine in neutral when dolphins are near.
Refrain from touching or swimming with wild dolphins.
Teach others to be Dolphin SMART.
So, who’s with us? Put those guidelines in practice while out on the water to ensure a safe environment for those beautiful creatures.