Are You suprised ?

 

 

 

 

POST PRODUCTION SCRIPT

 

 

 

THE CORONA COMEBACK OF EGYPTÕS DOLPHINS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2021

Noctiluca

Maarten van Rouveroy

De Surmontstraat 44

1181 RX Amstelveen

The Netherlands

Maarten.van.rouveroy@gmail.com

+31621225940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine biologist Angela Ziltener has been studying the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins of the Egyptian Red Sea for over a decade. Her team has catalogued the 350 animals in the Hurghada area and has made some groundbreaking discoveries regarding their behaviour. At the same time, the dolphins are under severe threat from unregulated tourism which severely interferes with their behaviour.

 

As the corona pandemic puts tourism on hold along EgyptÕs Red Sea coast, the dolphins are making a comeback on the reefs. The situation provides a unique chance for Angela to study the animalsÕ natural behaviour and offers a window of opportunity to redesign EgyptÕs dolphin tourism for when visitors do return to the area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underwater traveling shot over coral reef.

SUPER: EgyptÕs coral reefs are teeming with life.

Music and underwater sounds

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Underwater shot pod of dolphins swimming past.

SUPER: And are home to a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

 

Angela Ziltener looking at dolphins through binoculars from research boat.

SUPER: One passionate biologist has been studying them for over a decade.

 

Interview Angela Ziltener

Angela observing dolphins at surface from research boat

 

SUPER: Angela Ziltener Ð marine biologist

 

 

 

Angela preparing dive tank onboard boat. Underwater shot of Angela jumping into water

 

Underwater shots Angela swimming with dolphins near surface

 

Underwater shot of Angela and dolphins

 

 

 

Interview Angela Ziltener

 

Angela filming dolphins underwater

 

 

 

Interview Angela Ziltener

 

Underwater shots of dolphins swimming

 

 

 

 

Tour boats dropping tourists into the sea with dolphins.

SUPER: A large fleet of boats frequents these reefs during normal timesÉ

 

SUPER: and drops huge numbers of tourists into the water with the dolphins.

 

Interview Angela Ziltener

 

Snorkelers jumping into the water

 

Underwater shots dolphins and snorkelers. Boat passes overhead

 

Tourists with dolphins at surface

 

Tour boats tied up in port

SUPER: During the corona pandemic most of the boats are tied up in portÉ

 

Underwater Angela with dolphins

SUPER: leaving the reefs to Angela again.

 

Surface empty reef area

Interview Angela Ziltener

Angela observing empty reef with binoculars

Underwater dolphins

Angela with dolphins

 

Underwater dolphins swimming away from reef

 

 

Dolphin swimming to surface

 

Interview Angela Ziltener

 

Underwater dolphins and Angela

 

 

 

 

 

Angela filming dolphins

SUPER: The observations made during the pandemic may benefit the dolphins in the future.

 

Interview Angela

 

Dolphins underwater

 

Dolphin and diver

Silhouetted dolphins underwater

 

Angela briefing tourists on a boat

SUPER: AngelaÕs organisation has developed a code of conduct for dolphin watchingÉ

 

SUPER: and is campaigning for dolphin tourism to return in a more sustainable form.

 

Dolphins underwater

SUPER: Meanwhile the dolphins are planning a corona comeback of their own.

 

Interview Angela

 

Dolphins with baby swimming underwater

 

Interview Angela

 

 

Mother and calf swimming at surface

 

CREDITS

 

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Music and topside ocean sounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

A typical day of our research is actually going in the early morning hours when the sun is rising to search for the dolphins. And normally, if we see them on the way to a certain reef area where they actually come to sleep, to rest, we are taking data about who is there, how is the group composition? How many females, males, calves. So for this, we also take photo IDs to identify them.

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

If we have a good opportunity and the dolphins are stationary, we have the chance here to actually go into the water to observe them what they do.

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

We know from our data over ten years that in this area we have 350 individuals. And most I actually also can recognize, especially when I'm in the water. Some they come very close, theyÕre always greeting, they always are very curious. Other ones they are more shy. So you even get to know their personality, what makes it even more special. And you start to have kind of a relationship with this species.

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

For us, it's also very important that the dolphins are behaving natural. We want to follow them in their daily routine. When do they start to sleep? When do they play? And we always try to not be that close. But of course, you also need to be one of them be accepted.

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

We think at night the dolphins are hunting in the open ocean. And during the daytime, they look for a protected reef where they can sleep, rest, socialize and doing other behaviors. That's why it's so important for them to have a good sleeping place for the daytime to relax, to calm down, to meet other dolphins. It's kind of a meeting place here as well.

 

Boat engine noise, claxons honking and people jumping into the water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

We have many boats here, dozens of boats, people on board, jumping on top of the dolphins. And you can imagine, especially the dolphins coming here to sleep, it's quite destracting for them. It really affects their daily life style, especially the sleeping hours, the mating behaviour. So if there is too much noise underwater, especially also boats andÉ It can be a big threat if the tourism is not regulated.

 

Tourists jumping into the water

 

 

Music and sounds of pier

 

 

 

 

Music and underwater sounds

 

 

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

Right now you cannot believe but normally this place here is very popular for dolphin tourism. So now it's actually very nice to see it's empty. There's not one single boat. So for the dolphins means they can calm down, they can relax in this area without any disturbance. And of course, it's also an opportunity for us as scientists to study them without any human disturbance. Because what we were observing is that the dolphins actually also left the reef very early or they not even showed up anymore.

 

Music

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

We experienced a very interesting time now without any boats. The dolphins stayed quite long at these places. We could really get into deeper behavior, either in rubbing behavior or play behavior, sleeping behaviorÉ They passed very close. It seems like they are really relaxed and comfortable. And now we have longer encounters and very good data actually to go deeper into their lifestyle again.

 

Music

 

 

 

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER:

Actually, this data is helping us to support the conservation part. The corona time gives us an opportunity that we really should take care of all these reef sites and make a bigger effort to protect them and also to support responsible dolphin tourism so that the people still can see them without disturbing the dolphin population.

 

Music and Angela speaking to tourists:

 

ÒThe Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins - the ones we hope to see today Ð they are getting 50 years old and a mature age of 8 to 12 years. So itÕs very similar to us humansÓ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music

 

 

 

 

 

ANGELA ZILTENER

We are very excited, actually, to maybe see a dolphin baby boom next year. Because when they come to this reef here, they not only sleep and rest here, they also socialize, mate a lot, especially in the later afternoon. And now we are very excited to actually see the results next year to maybe see this corona effect, a positive one.

 

Music

 

 

 

 

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