Another Record Year - Dolphins Sightings
Another record breaking year for dolphin spotting. Seafaris has been operating for 6 seasons now, and for the last 4 seasons have been taking detailed notes on the dolphin sightings in our waters.
The main trend we have seen is a significant rise in sightings even as we do more and more trips. In 2014 we saw dolphins on 14% of our seafaris but this year we have seen them on over 32% of our trips!! Each year has seen a steady rise.
% chance of dolphin sightings on seafaris
Nearly all the sightings have been Bottlenose Dolphin but we have seen the odd Common Dolphin sighting as well as Harbour Porpoises too but in all over 99% of the sightings have been Bottlenose. Who knows with recent sightings of a Humpback Whale off the coast of Jersey we may start to see other marine mammals enter our waters. Martin is still convinced we are going to see an Orca some time soon!!
The main questions we get asked are: when is the best time to see dolphins and which trip?!!
We have seen the most dolphins around the Ecrehous, however we do visit there the most!
The trip you will most likely see dolphin is in fact Chausey - over 50%!!! Followed closely by France (Carteret and Portbail), next is the Minquiers and then the Ecrehous. These results are definitely surprising but it probably just comes down to the amount of time on the water, the further you travel the more likely to see the dolphins.
The trend though is definitely towards the east and south of Jersey, there are much fewer sightings closer to our Channel Island neighbours.
There is a pretty even spread of when we see them, but April and October our the peak months. We also tend to see the bigger pods in the early and late season.
% chance of dolphin sightings per Seafari/Charter
As of 2017 we have combined with the Marine Biology Section of the Societe Jersiase, we pass on our information and vice versa. An app has also been developed to help us record exact positions of sightings and different species. Below is a heat map of some of the sightings this year. The app is available for all boat users to register their sightings.
There also a ‘Seapod Hydrophone’ that has been deployed off the east coast of Jersey. This has enable the Societe to correspond each sighting on the app with the real time recordings of the hydrophone. These are exciting times ‘a new era of dolphin research’ according to Paul Chambers at the Societe and the Department of Environment.
For further information of the findings of the Marine Biology Section of the Societe Jersiase there is talk by Gareth Jeffreys on the 6th December at 1315 at the Societe Jersiase. We will hopefully see you there!