A HUGE pod of dolphins have been caught on camera just off the coast of Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire.
Lloyd Nelmes and his girlfriend captured footage of up to 500 dolphins while on a boat ride on January 25.
The video captured by the couple show the playful dolphins getting up close to the boat, and “bowriding” – which is when marine wildlife position themselves to be pushed forward by the circulating water caused by boats.
Sharing his experience on Facebook, Lloyd wrote: “The dolphins were very keen to bowride at any opportunity, with almost 10 individuals at some points under our tiny boat,
“The Stena then came in and they went over to it, bow riding and using the energy from the ship to jump what looked like almost the height of half the ship! Amazing to see!
“They were chasing mackerel I think, pushed a few to the surface and managed to catch a few for myself too.”
Lloyd described the feeling as though the dolphins were ready and waiting for him and his girlfriend as they took the trip. He also shared that he saw five porpoises near Pen Anglas as well.
He said: “The common dolphins came to us, bow riding, jumping around us, it was as if they were waiting for us and wanted to play. They were everywhere, jumping around us, around 10 bow riding under our small boat!
“It was really exciting and amazing to see, the younger ones really do love to play around and jump.”
Spotting cetaceans such as dolphins, whales and porpoises at sea can be an exciting experience, but Sea Trust reminds anyone hoping to catch a glimpse themselves to adhere to the following advice and local marine codes:
- Keep your distance. Remain 100m away (200m if another boat is in the area).
- Never drive head on to, or move between, scatter or separate dolphins. If unsure of their movements, simply stop and put the engine into neutral.
- Never chase, drive directly towards or encircle them. Always allow an escape route.
- Let them approach you. On many occasions dolphins will bow-ride your boat, make sure you maintain a steady speed and course.
- Take extra special care when around young animals. The smallest disturbance risks disrupting mother-calf bonds and may expose inexperienced young to stress and possible boat strikes.
- Move away slowly if you notice any signs of disturbance or avoidance behaviours.
- Please remember, not only do boats pose a threat of injury to the animal from collisions or propeller strikes. The noise produced by engines can disrupt their daily behaviours including their ability to communicate with each other which is essential when navigating underwater.