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Clarifying, expanding on interaction policy

Posted by Kevin Z on Sunday, 24 July 2022, at 3:48 p.m.
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In response to 145272: Leave them alone, posted by Dave P on Sunday, 24 July 2022, at 1:12 p.m.

I sense a nerve has been touched, here. I’m not projecting or anthropomorphizing.
There’s no question that aggressive, negligent human behavior has occurred and when it has, the needed rest cycle of dolphins has been interrupted. How rude and disrespectful!
I know humans suffer when this happens to us and there’s no reason to think dolphins are immune from the same, even though they’re a distinct species. It’s well-known that their brains operate on an entirely different set of rules from those of humans when they “sleep”, and to equate dolphin and human sleep is foolish. Measurable effects of disruption exist and should be wisely addressed.
Considering dolphins’ sensitivity to, and reliance upon acoustics, motorized craft are, by far, a larger threat to their needs for rest than swimmers that occupy their waters - assuming that no aggression occurs. The presence of other life in their environment is entirely normal; engines are not.
“Leave them alone” would be ideal and I’d agree with that were practical. Their needs must absolutely be respected and if, as seems to be the case, we are the wiser and more adaptable species, then we should apply wisdom - not a hammer - in assuring their comfort and success. “Isolate them” is, in my opinion, swinging the pendulum into the other extreme.
Is there no hubris when humans decide that dolphins aren’t interested in us and should be isolated? Which species is being prohibited from interaction with the other? The observations posited by others here would suggest that some questions remain. “Don’t question”? Hmmmm.
I’m simply posing that not all questions have been addressed, and that perhaps new ones have arisen that weren’t even imagined at first. As I said earlier, I throw no shade upon marine mammal specialists. I only challenge the finality of what NOAA considers the best way to protect the spinners. Lord knows, bureaucratic rule is historically rife with well-intentioned missteps.
May we at least agree that we are only beginning to understand the benefits/risks of dolphin/human interaction?


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