August 26, 2016

The federal government is about to end the tourist fun of swimming with dolphins...

... at least with Hawaiian spinner dolphins.
Dolphins typically forage offshore in the night for fish, shrimp and squid, then return toward land during the day to relax. They swim even when they are sleeping. But officials say the presence of boats and swimmers is disrupting their habits, causing “a departure from natural behavioral patterns that support the animal’s health and fitness,” according to the proposed guidelines....
The rule would require people to stay at least 50 yards away.
“It would be the end of legitimate dolphin swimming,” said Kevin Merrill, an owner of Dolphin Discoveries in Kona, on the island of Hawaii. “We couldn’t offer the people the quality interaction that they expect.”...

Roberta Goodman, the owner of Wild Dolphin Swims Hawaii in Holualoa... said she did not see signs that they were disturbed by the tour groups. “We watch them nurse, and make love, and play, and travel and sleep,” she said. “They continue with their natural behaviors while they’re in the water with us. They’ve accepted us into their environment with them.”
Yeah, I'm sure they love you. They're still smiling, right?
“You don’t swim with the dolphins,” [Merrill] said. “The dolphins choose to swim with us.”
And the humans choose to soak in narcissistic self-deception.

36 comments:

damikesc said...

Silly question: Do these government agencies ever check back to see the impact of their regulations?

Curious George said...

"Yeah, I'm sure they love you. They're still smiling, right?"

She never said that. This is your invention.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. AlthouseAnd the humans choose to soak in narcissistic self-deception.

That's seriously overreaching, Dr. At least one person quoted, who has spent many years observing dolphins and knows quite a lot about them, sees no deleterious effects. And as damikesc asks, does any government agency look at the impact of their intrusion into human freedom after taking it away to see if it helps?

You're taking it upon yourself to "help the animals" at whatever cost to humans, whether:

1. You know what you're talking about or not.
2. There's any means, or even any plan, to measure the results.

That is what those of us who identify as libertarian, and to a lesser extent, conservative, hate about those who generally identify as liberal or, God help us all, "progressive."

Rob said...

Life without dolphins would be porpoiseless.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann,

Just so we know - do you have any reason not to think that dolphins may have the same "oh, how cute and interesting and clever; gee, I wish I had hands; oh look, they're smiling" sort of reaction to humans that humans have to dolphins?

They have large brains, after all, and do have successful relationships/cowork with humanity. They are not prisoners. Navy dolphins can swim away any time they like, for example, as can these spinner dolphins. It's not like we're beating and raping them. Dolphins swim up to ships and swimmers and interact.

And yes, some have jerky behavior that may be inadvertent or of ill intent. Funny, I know people like that.

I wonder if there is a dolphin law professor who mocks the other dolphins for playing with the humans.

Oso Negro said...

Heh. Now for the rise of illegitimate dolphin swimming.

MadisonMan said...

The problem with Hawai'i -- the big island -- is that there's really very little to do. If you are on Oahu there is no shortage of interesting things, and that means you don't have to waste your time and swim with dolphins.

damikesc said...

I'm always amazed at how these overwhelming crises are always resolved so quickly with a regulation.

Remember how bad the Northern Spotted Owl had it in life?

AprilApple said...

NO swimming with dolphins, but Monsanto (Hillary's favorite) can plant toxic corn experiments on a Hawaiian Island even after the voters vote NO.

Our government knows best.

readering said...

Too bad the dolphins don't have a brake they can pull if the humans make them too stressed.

Birkel said...

" And the humans choose to soak in narcissistic self-deception."

I agree that the government regulators are probably all narcissistic. They don't call it the Nanny State for nothing.

Government workers, imagining themselves helping others -- human and non-human -- as if the can and should operate en loco parentis, must he as narcissistic a group of self-deceivers as anybody can find.

Birkel said...

...must be...

traditionalguy said...

Dolphin Police! Those mammals are bad ass creatures and are well able to protect themselves.

EDH said...

I can see the benefit of not having people chase after the dolphin.

But if you set-up a designated area and the dolphins come and stay of their own volition, I don't see the problem.

Jupiter said...

Our tax dollars at play.

NASA is welfare for engineers. NOAA is welfare for Left Fascists.

Birkel said...

EDH:

The problem is the creeping, overwhelming fear that somebody, somewhere is having a better time than D.C. bureaucrats. Such a thing cannot be allowed.

Because government workers are narcissistic self-deceivers, as Althouse implied.

gerry said...

And the humans choose to soak in narcissistic self-deception.

That also aptly describes Progressives, liberals, SJWs, feministas, AGW nuts, the current core of the Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, the KKK...

Sebastian said...

"dolphins can swim away any time they like" Plus they can adapt, can't they? It's so disappointing to learn the federal government doesn't believe in evolution.

chrisnavin.com said...

A la Norm MacDonald's shaggy dog joke:

Someone here may be serving a youthful porpoise.

Roughcoat said...

True story: I was snorkeling with a group off Grand Turk when several dolphins approached us and started to play around with us. They were frolicking, dashing about in circles, and making that eek eek sound. They seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. When I started to swim off in another direction one of the dolphins followed me, swam around me, and then sort half-leaped up out of the water and slapped the surface with his tail -- it seemed to me he was trying to get my attention. So I stayed where I was and sort of hung out with the big guy for a minute or so, until he swam off. All in all, it was one of the most amazing experiences in my life.

Damn narcissistic dolphins!

Fernandinande said...

"You don’t swim with the humans," a dolphin said. “The humans choose to swim with us."

Epic bummer yesterday - dog caught a horny toad, a critter I haven't seen in the wild for about 40 years.

jaed said...

natural behavioral patterns that support the animal’s health and fitness

Not satisfied with humans, the Nanny State is now nannying dolphins.

Soon, as a result of a federal initiative to increase fitness in the next generation, the wildlife will be required to participate in authorized Wellness Programs.

Danno said...

First world problems.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Environmentalists? Wack a few endangered birds lately? Save Bambi from the blight. The green, clean lobby.

Fred Drinkwater said...

There's regs prohibiting chasing whales which require skippers to idle or shutdown when within 100 yards of whales on the surface. During a crossing of the Lanai channel back to Kihei after a dive, the skipper eventually put a towel over his head and eyes, saying "I only have to stop if I SEE them, and I want to get back in port before dark."
Any experienced diver will have been approached by various animals. I've been followed around in open water by seals, dolphins, sharks, groupers,barracuda, etc. Divers swim about 2 mph. All those animals can swim about 10 mph. THEY are curious about US. And before you ask, most of the time I was not deliberately invading their territory, at least not any more than the next big fish was.

Rusty said...

Our government is a collection of negative rights.

Megaera said...

Roughcoat: I had a similar, though less dramatic experience swimming off Bethany Beach -- saw about 6 dorsal fins (not at all like shark fins, of course) so I just kept plugging along and so did they, circling me at a discreet distance, and they kept it up for as long as I stayed in the water. I would reverse directions from time to time (I was trying to stay within visual range of my husband on the beach since there were np lifeguards) and he could see them in their circle around me moving up and down the beach. Eventually I got tired and turned to come in, the circle broke up and all 6 swam off as a unit, They never got close enou gh for me to get a clear look at them, but I'm sure they were checking me out as a local curiosity.

Roughcoat said...

Mageara:

Very cool!

They were certainly checking you out -- probably because they were intrigued. Best of all, as long as they're around, no sharks will come near.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, normally your bullshit detector seems to be pretty effective, but this time you seem to have bought into the bullshit.

How many times do government "experts" have to be proven wrong before your default assumption is that they don't really know what they're talking about? Or are you going to be a good little liberal and believe then forever and ever?

Are the dolphins penned up and stuck with the humans? Or are they free to swim away anytime they want to? If they really felt upset about the humans in their area, trust me, they are capable of delivering very painful attacks with those "smiling" beaks. They use high speed ramming attacks on sharks to keep their waters shark-free; are you and the alleged "experts" asserting that they couldn't deliver high speed ramming attacks on humans who were disturbing them? Why would you assert that?

Swimming in the ocean with dolphins is much cooler than wallowing around in bullshit. You need to try it.

James Pawlak said...

Under the tyrannical and murderous (Ask any Irishman) rule of Oliver Cromwell his stiff-necked followers banned "Bare Baiting"---Not because it was cruel to the bears, but because the People might enjoy it.

For some reasons, I see parallels here.

Oh, did anyone ask the dolphins?

Hey Skipper said...

Growing up in SoCal, I surfed a lot.

A couple times, as I dropped into a wave, I was staring at a dolphin staring right back at me.

I've been shoulder deep water with my kids and had a dolphin go right by us.

And on one particularly memorable occasion, echoing Magaera, the waves were listless, and I noticed a pod of dolphins moving north about a mile offshore. Thinking "What could possibly go wrong?" I decided to paddle to the merge just to see what would happen.

20 minutes later, as I got within a 100 yards, they disappeared. Since they are mammals, I knew they had to come up sometime, so I sat up on my board, and looked to the north, figuring they would avoid me.

Several instants later, two of them came straight up out of the water about a foot on either side of me. Whereupon I became the audience for a dolphin show that would shame Sea World's best.

After about five minutes, deciding I must have easily had my money's worth, they resumed heading towards wherever they were going in the first place.

Clearly, they were not only aware of me as something that would appreciate their show, they were also aware of themselves. And maybe they were just a little bit narcissistic.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hank Hill, LaGrunta dolphin experience.
Google for yaself

Rusty said...

James Pawlak said...
Under the tyrannical and murderous (Ask any Irishman) rule of Oliver Cromwell his stiff-necked followers banned "Bare Baiting"---Not because it was cruel to the bears, but because the People might enjoy it.

For some reasons, I see parallels here.

Oh, did anyone ask the dolphins?

Dolphins aren't stupid animals. If they don't get some reward from their intraction with humans they'll just go away. The ocean is their home. Not ours.
But by all means regulate.

Hey Skipper said...

If they don't get some reward from their intraction with humans they'll just go away.

In my multiple experiences, they are attracted to human attention without any other reward.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Why the hostility? How the hell would you know? (disclaimer: have not interacted with dolphins outside of sea world)