Dolphins around the South West coast of England have been sighted over the years, with many thought to be migrating along the coast from the Irish Sea to the Bay of Biscay throughout the year. However, identification studies have revealed that around 98 individual animals regularly frequent the area, with a distinct group of 28 resident in Cornish waters year-round.
The dolphins are seen to be present in coastal waters around the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. This ten-year study, carried out by Rebecca Dudley of Plymouth University who analysed almost 4,000 records to identify this population, is very positive news. “To have confirmation that dolphins are resident in this area is fantastic news,” said Marine Connection director, Margaux Dodds. “Now that this has been confirmed it is vital that the public, who use these waters for their livelihood or for leisure are made aware of how to behave around the animals to ensure their welfare and we hope that steps are taken to ensure their protection, as is the case for other resident populations in the UK.”
Many are aware that the most northerly resident bottlenose dolphin population has already been identified as living in the Moray Firth area in Scotland, however, the discovery of another resident population is welcome news.