Dolphins and whales are protected species and should not be disturbed

ORANJESTAD- The Directorate of Nature and Environment (DNM) has recently noticed many people and even water sports companies who published photos taken of dolphins in our territorial waters.

The ocean surrounding Aruba has plenty of dolphin activity throughout the year. The reason these species are here is not to entertain anyone but rather for specific needs. Rather than disturbing these species, the DNM urges everyone to move away and leave these species alone.

The six species of dolphins in our territorial waters that use the coastline as protection zones are: Tursiops truncatus, Steno bredanensis, Stenella longirostris, Stenella frontalis, Stenella attenuata, and Stenella coeruleoalba.

DolphinAruba serves as a “nursery” for these six species. The dolphin nursery is about 3 km in length along the coastal belt. One of the reasons these dolphins come to their nursery area is to recover from sustained injuries or give birth. They also use the nursing belt to protect themselves from sharks. The DNM is reminding the community that dolphins and whales are species protected by local laws. Article 7, paragraph 3 of the Nature protection ordinance specifies that it is against the law to disturb these protected species. Disturbing these mammals in any way is punishable by law. The law clearly states; “It is prohibited to catch or intentionally disturb a wild animal as referred to in paragraph 1”.

The DNM asks for community cooperation to help protect our fauna to help preserve our natural resources.

DolphinAs mentioned, dolphin and whales species come to this area for protection, give birth, protect their newborn, and recover from their sickness. When you see any of these mammals, please do not disturb them, do not get close to them, do not feed them, do not photograph or film them. Always enjoy their presence from a safe and respectful distance. Do not publish the location where you have seen them on social media. When you encounter any marine mammals, the global guideline is not to swim, approach, touch, or interact with them. When you see them, playing or jumping in the waves, please stay 50 meters away from them. When you see them near the coast, please stay 100 meters away since they are giving birth or recovering. It is common to see them in larger groups to protect each other. The DNM and the Coastguard work closely with the Aruba Mammal Foundation. This NGO in charge of the protection and investigation of the mammal species.

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