Featured Image Credit: Cornwall Live
Rare striped dolphins have been spotted off the coast of Cornwall for the first time ever! A group of science volunteers spotted them on a ferry ship called Scillonian III. ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyors were also on board and sighted the dolphins during the first ever study trip in the area.
Three members on the ship were searching for marine life on top of a bridge on the ferry. They were initially on the way back from St Mary’s to Penzance working on an ORCA OceanWatch project when they spotted the pod of dolphins.
ORCA’s head of science and conservation, Lucy Babey, said: “This is a sensational finding and is the first solid evidence of striped dolphins in the area.” Previously, there have been findings of the dolphins stranded (live or dead) but never a sighting of them in the water.
Unfortunately, the sighting was so fast and only seen by one person on the ship. The sighting had to downgrade from a ‘sighting’ to a ‘likely sighting’ due to it being an unusual occurrence. “The surveyor in question is one of our most experienced and we are 100% confident it wasn’t one of the other dolphin species commonly seen in the area.”
ORCA OceanWatch has been sighting dolphins, whales, and porpoises for three years now to educate people of marine diversity on the UK coastline. They are hoping to spot more striped dolphins within the next few weeks. They have dark stripes from the eye to the tail and are amongst the most active species in the UK waters.
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