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A day out with the dolphins

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Fun and frolic: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, is planning an eco-tourism programme in the coastal waters where there is a high concentration of dolphins.
Fun and frolic: The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, is planning an eco-tourism programme in the coastal waters where there is a high concentration of dolphins.

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Ever fancied spending a day out with dolphins?

The dream of dolphin enthusiasts would become a reality if a proposal made by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute is implemented.

The Institute has come up with a proposal for setting up dolphin-centred eco-tourism programmes in different parts of the country.

Eco-tourism programmes based on watching dolphins can be developed in coastal waters between Goa and Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi, southern parts of Kanyakumari and Visakhapatnam, according to a recommendation submitted by the institute to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi. The recommendation forms part of the studies on marine mammals of Indian Exclusive Economic Zone and the contiguous seas, undertaken by the institute.

Dolphins can be often sighted in these areas and there is immense scope for developing tourism packages with dolphin sighting as the highlight, said E. Vivekanandan, the principal investigator of the project.

All that you need to organise such programmes are a few special vessels with elevated decks and binocularsOne of the major attractions of this programme is that you need not go into the deeper sea for sighting these mammals, as they are present in the coastal waters and even in the backwaters. In Kochi, dolphins are often sighted in the shipping channels of Mattanchery, he said.

Dolphins are also seen accompanying ships that ply between Kochi and Lakshadweep when the vessels leave Kochi. These friendly animals come close to boats and the passengers can even feed them fish. Dolphins are loved worldwide for their playful ways and close interaction with human beings.

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