We are working with Government of Jersey Marine Resources, supporting the acoustic Dolphin Monitoring project.
Ports of Jersey have provided funds of £1500 to buy 2 pods from Chelonia who gave us a 75% Discount.
There are a few species of dolphin that grace our shores, but it is the bottlenose dolphin that is common to Jersey waters. They are pale to dark grey in colour and reach a size of three to four metres. It’s thought that approximately 100 individuals inhabit Jersey waters.
As part of international obligations, Jersey is required to monitor dolphins found in local waters to ensure it maintains a favourable conservation status. Marine mammal data collating is done by the marine biology section of The Jersey Biodiversity Centre.
Although not a common species to Jersey waters, harbour porpoises have been sighted here. They generally grow from between 1.4 to 1.9 metres in length and weigh between 61 and 76 kgs. They are dark grey in colour, with speckled sides.
Harbour porpoises feed mainly on small fish, including herring and sprat.
Code of practice for watching marine mammals
You should always follow the marine and coastal wildlife watching code:
- on sighting marine mammals, vessels should gradually slow down to a speed no greater than five knots (or no wake speed) and keep a distance of 100 metres
- when encountering dolphins whilst moving or if they choose to bow-ride, continue on your intended course, avoiding any unpredictable or erratic movements
- move away slowly if you notice signs of disturbance, eg hasty dives, changes in breathing patterns, attempts to leave the area or move away from the vessel, erratic changes in speed and direction, lengthy periods underwater, and aggressive behaviours, such as tail slaps and trumpet blows
- avoid groups of marine mammals with young and never come between a mother and her calf
- never drive deliberately between groups of marine mammals. Allow them to remain together
- if safe, switch off all sonar equipment when near dolphins as this can affect their communication and navigation
- if you discover a solitary dolphin, try to avoid interacting with the animal by maintaining a steady speed in the direction intended. If you are followed into a harbour or marina by a dolphin, contact the Harbour authorities