The fascination of human beings with dolphins leads many of us to ask ourselves if it is possible to swim with dolphins in Tenerife.
Well, the answer to this question is no, it is currently forbidden to swim or bathe with dolphins off the coast of Tenerife.
Current population of captive dolphins
In our country we have the privilege of having a large number of dolphins on our coasts, this gives us the opportunity to observe them in their natural environment in a responsible way, but unfortunately we also have captive dolphins. Located in parks and zoos throughout the national territory.
As we can see in the infographic (created by El País) in Spain there are about 100 dolphins in captivity, compared to 19 in the rest of Europe.
There are laws that prohibit this activity, but most industry experts agree that current laws are not enough to end this practice.
In these places you can see the dolphins doing circus shows, and if you wish you can also swim with dolphins. But we ask ourselves, is it really worth it, after knowing that those dolphins could be living in freedom?
Spain is one of the few countries in Europe where you can see dolphins in freedom, the coasts of our country have a privileged situation for the life of these fabulous mammals.
South of Tenerife
The south of Tenerife is considered a sanctuary for cetaceans, on the coast of Tenerife you can not only see dolphins, you can also see 35% of the species of cetaceans that exist throughout the world and 75% of those that live in the Atlantic, according to the WWF report.
In Tenerife you can enjoy dolphin watching throughout the year, but mainly in spring since during that time of year the schools of fish come closer to the coast of the island, and behind them the dolphins come.
An interesting place for dolphin watching, bottlenose dolphins and porpoises come to the Rías Baixas in search of squid, turbot and other marine species essential to their diet.
Strait of Gibraltar
The Graltad Strait stands out for the sighting of Orcas, but it can also be considered a prominent place for dolphin watching, the species of dolphins that most frequent Gibraltarian waters are: the common dolphin, the striped dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin.
The prohibition of swimming with captive dolphins in Tenerife and in the rest of the Spanish territory is given by Royal Decree 1727/2007, which establishes protection measures for cetaceans.
The Royal Decree was created in 2007, with the aim of establishing protection measures for cetaceans to help guarantee their survival and their favorable conservation status. It also establishes the scope of application and general protection measures, which includes the prohibition of swimming with dolphins in Tenerife.
There are several associations and public bodies that tirelessly fight for the preservation of dolphins, including the Tenerife council, WWF, sosdelfines.org or ACEST. They are dedicated to tasks of disseminating the current situation of the oceans, study of marine species, actions in favor of these mammals, creation of new marine protected areas, etc.
The tasks carried out by these associations add a lot of value to the community, but we can all help. Here are some of the things you can do to help dolphins:
Try to apply the 3R method, reduce, reuse and recycle, in this way you will reduce water pollution.
Try not to use plastic reservoirs, this gesture will also help reduce water pollution
Avoid going to parks where they have dolphins in captivity, this can make large multinationals consider the profitability of having dolphins locked up in pools.
Participate in coastal cleanup programs
Any of these small actions will help the conservation of dolphins and in general all marine species.
It is possible to see dolphins in Tenerife in a responsible and sustainable way, there are several companies certified and approved by government agencies to carry out whale watching activities, these companies strictly comply with all current regulations, many of them are also members of associations that are dedicated to the conservation of the marine ecosystem.
If you want to see dolphins in the wild and learn more about them, the best option is to hire a whale watching excursion.