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PE adds “Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World” title to resume

PE adds “Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World” title to resume

Nelson Mandela Bay was officially branded the “Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World” at a special ceremony held at the Port Elizabeth Yacht Club on Monday evening.

The event, which saw attendance from municipal officials, scientist and marine enthusiast, came after intensive research of the Algoa Bay area revealed that some 20 000 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins had been making use of the area since the 1990’s.

“Humans have been obsessed with these friendly ocean dwellers for many years, and marine life in particular represents an opportunity to drive education and boost tourism,” Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile, said.

“Algoa Bay has a rich marine eco-system few know about and we need to take advantage and market this at home and abroad going forward. In support of this launch, we are planning a Dolphin Festival later this year where we want to invite people and have them experience our dolphin utopia.

“We must not let this [opportunity] pass us by. Tonight, we have certainly given ourselves something to smile at and I hope going forward that we will all spread the word about Nelson Mandela Bay and Algoa Bay as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World”.

Speaking at the event, well-known marine conservationist and owner of Raggy Charters, Lloyd Edwards, said a recent study of the aforementioned bottlenose species, based on a photographic data set of 10 000 images, identified a total 1 569 individual dolphins in the Bay based on characteristics.

“Subsequent photo identification [compiled over] a three year study period, found a population of 28 482 individuals, suggesting it to be largest estimate along the South African coast,” Edwards, who had been running his business since 1997, said.

“Since we started, we have seen dolphins on 90% of our tours. Last year, I attended a conference of international whale watchers in the Azores, I presented these facts and not one of the other operators could say they have heard about a company that has seen so many dolphins”. 

Main Image: sourced from wikimedia. Second and third image, well-known marine conservationist and owner of Raggy Charters, Lloyd Edwards, and local entreprenuer and publisher, Graeme Lund.