A group of bottlenose dolphins has been delighting both visitors and locals here in Sark for the last month. They have mostly been seen around the east coast and have sometimes escorted the island’s ferries from the Bec du Nez all the way into the harbour, much to the enjoyment of those on board. Fishermen and others with their own boats have also been experiencing wonderful encounters with the dolphins as have passengers on George Guille’s round the island boat trips. Over the last decade or so dolphin numbers appear to have been increasing with both bottlenose and common dolphins seen around the Channel Islands although porpoises, often seen in the past, are now rarely sighted.
Bottlenose are slightly larger than common dolphins and can reach up to four metres long. They females give birth to a single calf every four to six years. They suckle their young for between 18 and 24 months and the close bond between mother and calf can last up to six years. Boat owners who see the dolphins around Sark are asked to approach them slowly and give them plenty of space. If they are in a playful mood they will come to a boat but if they are not then please do not chase them.