Drop in Egyptian tourism boosts marine wildlife
As the coronavirus pandemic puts tourism on hold along Egypt’s Red Sea coast, dolphins are making a comeback on the reefs. Marine biologists now have a unique opportunity to study their natural behaviour.
Marine biologist Angela Ziltener has been studying the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins of the Egyptian Red Sea for over a decade. 'Some come very close and are always greeting and very curious. Other ones are more shy. So you get to know their personality,' says Ziltener. As the pandemic put tourism on hold, the dolphins began making a comeback on the reefs, and are able to behave more naturally. Until Covid struck the dolphins were under threat from unregulated tourism: normally there are 'dozens of boats, people on board jumping on top of the dolphins ... It can be a big threat if tourism isn't regulated,' Ziltener notes. 'Now the dolphins can come down and relax in this area without any disturbance, and of course it's also an opportunity for us as scientists to study them.'FULL SYNOPSIS