Stars of sailors’ stories, legends and myths, dolphins are some of the most exciting and beloved marine mammals. We find depictions of dolphins in ancient mosaics, buildings, and pottery, while we also encounter them in Greek mythology. Dolphins are a type of marine mammal that belong to cetaceans. They have their own codes of communication, which we had trouble believing species other than humans could possibly have. They can orient themselves, locate their food, and communicate with each other through an echolocation system, and they can hear frequencies ten times higher than those humans can hear. These creatures are very smart, social, and live in communities that include thousands of individuals.
However, dolphins’ greatest “natural enemy” are, unfortunately, us humans. Accidental or intentional killings in fishing gear, oil pollution, infection from the accumulation of artificial chemical compounds in their tissue, disturbance by recreational vessels, climate change, sound pollution (e.g. from military exercises, seismic surveys for locating hydrocarbon deposits, or ship propellers), the overall degradation of the maritime ecosystem and the reduction of available food are threatening all types of dolphins and leading to the long-term reduction of their populations in Greek seas.
Each dolphin has its own audio signature. In short, it has its own “name”.
Dolphins swim at an average speed of 37 km/h
Dolphins sleep with only half their brain. The other half remains awake in order to maintain basic navigation and breathing.
If the dolphin population drops, it will irreversibly disrupt the marine food chain and the balance of the entire marine ecosystem. To put it simply, as long as we spot dolphins in our seas, we can be confident that fish populations are relatively sustainable. At WWF Greece, we aim to preserve the natural habitat in which dolphins live and reproduce in the Greek seas. This is why we are monitoring the dolphin population through scientific research, applying pressure to address key threats such as overfishing, which has resulted in a shrinking of fish populations that dolphins feed on, and incidental catch. We are searching for and promoting solutions to limit losses for fishermen, and we are fighting to stop the plans for oil and natural gas drilling in the Ionian Sea and Crete. Every day we take important steps with those who believe in a healthy sea.
Adopt a dolphin! With a symbolic adoption, you can become an active ally in our struggle to save these unique and threatened species of Greece and to keep our sea alive.