We answer all your most frequently asked questions about Dolphins in Byron Bay
🐬 Are there many Dolphins in Byron Bay?
Byron Bay is home to a residential group of bottlenose dolphins which is estimated to have 100 dolphins in population. There are a number of these dolphins who we have come to know well after observing them for many years now. We are lucky enough to see Dolphins on most of our tours.
🐬 What is the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?
Dolphins and porpoise look very similar. For many years people believed dolphins where porpoises and porpoises where dolphins. They are actually part of the same scientific suborder; Odontoceti, which include all toothed whales.
However, dolphins and porpoises are two different families. The porpoises are in the family Phocoenidae and the dolphins are in the family Delphinidae. This means dolphins and porpoises differ from each other on a physical level. Dolphins can grow much larger than porpoises and have a more slender body and pronounced rostrum (nose). While the family of porpoise contain some of the smallest cetaceans, have a more robust body and lack a rostrum or beak. Porpoises are also a lot shyer than dolphins and do not often come up to boats or people.
🐬 How long do dolphins live?
There are lots of different species of dolphin, and they all live to different ages. The bottlenose dolphin lives to around 50 years old in the wild, and to about 40 years old in captivity.
🐬 How long can dolphins hold their breath?
Normally dolphins come up to breathe every few minutes, however they can hold their breath for up to 7 minutes if they have to.
🐬 How deep do dolphins dive?
Bottlenose dolphins normally dive to depths of around 50 meters. However, they are capable of diving to depths of 300 meters. This record was set by Tilly, a dolphin that was trained by the US navy. Recent study into belugas revealed that this species can dive to depths up to 1250 meters. The deepest diver of all toothed whales is the sperm whale. This species can dive up to 3000 meters and holds it’s breath for up to 2 hours!
🐬 What can I do to help protect dolphins?
Each of us can make a difference to help ensure the survival of marine mammals and other animals.
Things you can do:
- Pick up any rubbish on the beaches or near drains and dispose of properly
- buy ‘dolphin safe’ tuna products and eat sustainable seafood products
- do not pour hazardous waste down the drain, reduce-reuse-recycle your garbage
- be a responsible boater and abide by whale & dolphin-watching boating regulations
- When fishing, take any discarded line, bait packaging etc. with you when you leave, and abide by marine parks fishing rules
- Support & join non-government organization campaigns by offering your financial support, signing petitions and volunteering