UAE Dolphin Project at the DMYC 5 Gold Anchors Award celebration

Congratulation to the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, one of our main sponsors, to achieve the 5 Gold Anchors Award! We were proud to participate at the public event organised to celebrate this prestigious acknowledgement on the 7th of June, 2014. As always it was a great afternoon spent with the public, lots of children eager to know more about dolphins and play with our puzzles. We also held the “Draw a dolphin competition” and had fantastic drawings submitted by the children. The winner this time was Niranjan, a 7 year old boy that made a fantastic dolphin all by himself! As prize Niranjan was allowed to choose a name for one of the local dolphins that we identified in Dubai waters. So now a beautiful Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin with a very pointy fin has been named Nins. We hope to sight him again soon!
As usual we had a fantastic team of volunteers that made our presence at this event possible Thank you to Cristyn and Dave, Courtney, Nassim and her husband, Valerie, Sara, Lauren and her sister for your great help!

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Paddle for the Planet 2014

Once again this year the UAE Dolphin Project joined the Paddle for the Planet initiative to raise awareness about the need to preserve our marine environment.
We joined at the Kite Beach in Umm Suqueim, Dubai, and as always it has been a fun day on the beach supporting a good cause!
Started in Dubai in 2011 the Paddle for the Planet is a movement that unites paddlers and watermen for conservation, with the annual Global Paddling Relay. This year has seen supporters from Sweden, Philippines, Belgium, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brazil, Namibia, Canada, Australia, Hawaii! Keep it up Paddle for the Planet!


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Abu Dhabi Plan Maritime 2030: the UAE dolphins had a say

The UAE Dolphin Project was  at the First Charette workshop of the Abu Dhabi Plan Maritime 2030! And  thank to everyone that have reported sightings, we were able to contribute with invaluable information regarding the dolphin occurrence in Abu Dhabi waters. Dolphins appear far more frequently than we first thought! It is a clear demonstration of how important the citizen contribution can be. The Maritime Plan 2030 has the goal to produce a plan to optimise the utilisation of Abu Dhabi marine spaces with the long-term vision of a ‘safe, secure and sustainable maritime domain for Abu Dhabi’.

The Charette, held in Abu Dhabi on the 9-11 June 2014, gave the possibility to meet the representatives of major stakeholders involved in the planning such as UPC (Urban Planning Council) and EAD (Environmental Agency) but also private stakeholders such as ADNOC, ENEC and Port Khalifa representatives. It has been an extremely interesting process and we were glad to be able to contribute. Indeed most of the participants were surprised by the number of sightings reported in the City area. We highlighted the importance of gathering scientific data about the local dolphin population to be able to provide information on how to best protect it in line with the vision of the Plan.

Not many leading cities in the world have a local dolphin population at their doorstep! We hope that our effort will raise awareness among the critical stakeholders about the importance of protecting these species and their environment in Abu Dhabi and the whole UAE.


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Kids and dolphins at the Dubai American Academy school

What a great time we had with the KG2 children of the Dubai American Academy school on the 15th of June! They were so excited to know about dolphins and what great questions they asked!
These are some of the works they did after the presentation and they speak for themselves.

Among the many question one stroke my attention as after so many years of working with dolphins and giving presentation nobody ever asked before: “Why dolphins are not colourful?” Do you know the answer?…..scroll to the end of the page!

“I learned that there is a tiny dolphin with no fins not a single bit.”
“I learned that when dolphins jump, that many they need to breathe oxygen.”
“I learned the difference about sharks and dolphins. Thank you Ms. Ada”
“I learned that dolphins have good eyes. They cannot see things that are far.”
“The whales if they have teeth they are dolphins.”
“Some whales are dolphins.”
“I learned that dolphins have dorsal fins and they can stay in the water for two hours.”
“I learned that dolphins attack sharks. Thank you ms. Ada for teaching us about dolphins.”
“I learned about different dolphins.”
“Dolphins are mammals. The dolphin can find their friends by calling them.”
“I learned that the whales that have teeth are dolphins.”
“I learned that dolphins live in the place I live.”
“I learned that some dolphins have fins and some doesn’t.”
“The dolphins breathe from their hole and they jump out from the water.”
“The dolphins have good eyes, dolphins follow fish and sometimes man over fish, some dolphins get captured.”

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Dolphins are predators and they need to catch their prey! A greyer coloration on top and lighter on the belly is a very common coloration for top marine predators, like dolphins, sharks and also some predatory fish like tuna. This provides them camouflage in the water. If seen from below the lighter belly will blend in against the brightness of the surface and if seen from above the dark back will blend in with the deep waters below.
Colourful coloration are generally used by species to intimidate their predators.

UAE Dolphin Project at the French School!

Feature: Valérie Arwacher

Valérie Arwacher from the UAE Dolphin Project recently gave two presentations at the Lycée Georges Pompidou.  On Wednesday 4th June, 50 pupils (5-6 years old, grade 4&5)  attended and on Sunday June 8th five classes (7-8 years old, CE1) followed.  In all, 150 pupils benefited from this intervention. For the grade 4&5, this subject was integrated in the Animal’s module and for CE1, it completed the part of the program on mammals.

The questions were varied and, for many children, it aroused at the desire to express their personal experiences with the sea generally. Valérie spoke about the characteristics of dolphins, their environment, food, communication, protection of the sea, and dolphins in Dubai and the role of UAE Dolphin Project. The children were very receptive according to their remarks following the presentation:

 – “We learnt that putting the plastic bags in the dustbin is good. It is not good to throw any rubbish in the water. We must respect the dolphins and all the animals in the sea!”

 – “I discovered that formerly dolphin was a land animal “.

 – “I taught things to my Dad!”

 We also received so many beautiful drawings! A great thanks to the LFIGP and their teachers for welcoming the UAE Dolphin Project again!


A special thanks to the kids who were so involved and participative!


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