Guam- Free sessions to learn more about Guam’s wild spinner dolphins have received positive feedback so far.
The meetings are being offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The first two were held at the University of Guam. Biologist and Dolphin SMART Coordinator Laura McCue says the sessions are more of a review for marine operators on the background and behavior of these dolphins. However, it’s also an opportunity for the public to learn more of how increased human interaction affects the marine mammals in their natural habitat.
She explains as dolphin tourism increases in the pacific, so does their avoidance behaviors. While spinner dolphins hunt and feed at night and rest during the day, McCue notes it’s important to enjoy them from a distance.
“Just remember that they’re resting during the days, so any interaction around them can potentially disturb them and we want to make sure we’re not doing that, that can lead to some of those long term effects that can affect the population,” said McCue.
The long term effects of disturbing dolphins can lead to lower reproductive rates and a shift in migration patterns. McCue says the four main resting areas of spinner dolphins around Guam include the Merizo/Cocos Island area, Agat Bay, Apra Harbor to Piti, and Asan to Tumon.
The final session on the spinner dolphins is being held this evening at 6 p.m. at UnderWater World in Tumon. It is free and open to the public.