Break Out the Bottlenose Champagne
The world’s longest-running world dolphin research program is celebrating its 38th year
documenting multi-generational residency of dolphins in Sarasota Bay. The program, which began in 1970, has documented the movements of nearly 150 dolphins in Sarasota Bay as well as 2,500 recognizable animals ranging from Tampa Bay south to Charlotte Harbor.
A combined effort of Mote Marine Lab and the Chicago Zoological Society, the primary focus of the research is to better understand the structure and dynamics of dolphin populations, and the threats facing them.
Other recent research looked at the impact of red tide on coastal dolphin populations. Ironically, the toxic algal bloom did not directly cause dolphin deaths but the lack of prey fish apparently resulted in dolphin deaths caused as they stole bait from recreational anglers. An educational program teaching anglers how to deal with nearby dolphins and the problems caused by feeding wild dolphin is underway this year.
Source: Explore Bay Soundings Feb. 2009.