TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
Cornwall has long been known as a fantastic location for dolphin spotting, with pods commonly being seen off the coast. This magical sight has drawn visitors to the area for many, many years, with having been lucky enough to meet one of these friendly mammals. New research from Plymouth University and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust suggest that the first English dolphins may be living off the Cornish coast, entirely native to our southern waters.
It has been thought up until now that the dolphins we often see had migrated, travelling between the Cornish shores and the southern Irish Sea. However, the results of an 11-year program now show that a pod of 28 dolphins are living off the English coast full-time. These dolphins can be recognised by their distinctive dorsal fin, distinctive shape and markings and have made a home for themselves in our English waters. This is the first pod to have been found within England, and is an incredibly exciting discovery that has peaked the interest of many over the past week.
Within the UK, there are two other known dolphin populations, one based in the Moray Firth, Scotland, and the other in Cardigan Bay, Wales. These areas fall under special care because of the dolphins, allowing them to thrive in their home environment. Work is now underway to gain a Marine Protection Area status for this native pod, and now that it has been confirmed that this is a resident population, rather than a migrant one, we hope to see this granted in the near future.
Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Manager at Cornwall Wildlife Trust commented: “The future of these iconic animals is in our hands and we need to make sure the few we currently have in the southwest are given the protection not just to survive, but to thrive.”
With an ever decreasing number of bottlenose dolphins due to issues with pollution, fishing nets and plastics, it is vital that these animals are given the necessary protection and care to ensure that our first English dolphin pod have a chance to stand the test of time.
Will you be heading to Cornwall anytime soon to see our resident dolphin pod? Our luxury Cornish cottages are located close to Falmouth and Truro, making it the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore the amazing marine life of the southwest!