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UNF Marine Mammal Research Team keeping local urban dolphins safe

Dolphins in St. Johns RiverThe University of North Florida Marine Mammal Research Team regularly surveys local urban dolphins in the St. Johns River as dolphins can be seriously harmed or die from being entangled in objects.

During a recent survey, the team spotted an entangled dolphin calf with a strap or line wrapped around its body. The UNF team jumped into action and has been  working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor the dolphin and develop a response plan.

While it is not safe to disentangle a dolphin on your own, the UNF Marine Mammal Research Team directed by Dr. Quincy Gibson, biology associate professor, has developed a dolphin conservation website for interested individuals to learn more about how they can personally help keep the at-risk mammals safe.

What You Can Do to Help:

  • Prevent pollution and remove litter from the water if possible.
  • Boat safely by staying at least 50 yards from dolphins and putting the engine in neutral when dolphins are near.
  • Don’t feed, touch or swim with wild dolphins.
  • Report injured or stranded marine animals to the FWCC Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.
  • Visit NOAA's dolphin-watching guide for important tips on viewing dolphins safely.