Do you know 2007 is the Year of the Dolphin? The Year of the Dolphin has raised widespread attention in Portugal. Research and conservation bodies, municipalities and universities are marking the event on Children's Day, Nature Conservation Day, World Animal Day and the International Year of Planet Earth. Among a big deal of initiatives a Portuguese translation of the Dolphin Manual is currently being distributed by UNESCO in Portugal as an important educational campaign support.
The Escola de Mar (School of Sea) in accordance with its annual activities programme scheduling organized a 3 hours cruise for a group of around 50 people on board of a recovered boat, RIQUITUM, used to carry salt in old times. The Dolphin´s Watch held in the mouth of River Sado last weekend was very well succeeded once the weather was terrific and the dolphins shown up frequently.
"The bottle nose dolphins group of river Sado is the only one resident population in Portugal from a few in Europe, and certainly the smallest in the world. All together they are around 30 mostly old animals only a few youths that are surviving in a delta highly humanized and subjugated by economic interests. History, culture and nature patrimonies as well as traditional knowledge are put aside. Indeed we know very little on this population, almost everything remains to be found out. However, if we were unable to guarantee the dolphins survival everything would be lost forever."
Cristina Brito (In "Para lá da Superfície / Beyond the Surface", Edição da Escola de Mar, 2006)
(See my Post and the Album "Escola de Mar / School of Sea" at this same Home Page)