BAR LAND SURVEY

5.42am saw the start of another Bar land survey. The weather was warm and humid, with a gentle breeze, the sea was an excellent state for a land survey with a Beaufort of 1 and there was a mild haze at the horizon reducing our visibility only slightly.

1 hour and 20 minutes passed without any sightings of dolphins, but as 7am approach we spotted a single bottlenose dolphin diving in the distance, approximately 700 metres from shore. By 7.20am the group size increased to 2-3. The largest group size of 3-4, was spotted at 7.50am, however, we believed all of these sightings to have been a single group.

This particular group of bottlenose dolphins showed a regular rhythm of behaviour throughout the morning, a continuous cycle of diving, resting and travelling.

The group stayed in our sights for a full hour and 50 minutes, before finally diving without a trace. This behaviour may have been due to the rapid increase in boat traffic common at this time of the morning, particularly as Bar Port is located only a few kilometres from the sighting location.

Boat traffic is a controversial issue when it comes to dolphin conservation, only these long-term surveys and relentless monitoring of the Montenegrin coast will shed light on the true impact of boat traffic on these dolphin populations.

Amy Jones

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