Whales and dolphins spotting in Aruba

ORANJESTAD - There are about 20 species of whales and dolphins that swim in territorial waters surrounding Aruba and they are all cetaceans.

Dolphins in territorial waters of Aruba. Photograph by Aruba Marine Mammal FoundationSome are residents to the area yet some are migrating and are seen during certain seasons. The cetaceans are marine mammals and like humans, they give live birth and do not breathe underwater, but need to surface for air to breathe. They are intelligent mammals that communicate underwater using high-frequency clicks and whistles. Pod of dolphins sometimes frolic alongside pleasure boats and this can be very exciting for everyone on board. Not many people have the luck to see this great event. Recently the captain of a leisure boat shared a short video of a few whales swimming near his boat during sunset in Punta Brabo. This is certainly not the first time whales are seen near the Aruban coastline. On some occasions, they use the coast for protection or while recovering from injuries or illnesses. It is very important to give these mammals the needed space and to not interfere with them so they can get back on track as soon as they are ready to do so.

Unfortunately not all the whales recover and some end up dead on the beach. In these cases, it is important to contact the Aruba Marine Mammal Foundation and they will investigate the possible cause of death and identify the species for the records.

All whales and dolphins are protected in the National Decree for the protection of indigenous Flora and Fauna. In the protection list, these mammals are categorized as Cetacea.

The third Sunday of February has been marked for many years as World Whale Day. This serves as a reminder of why we need to keep our ocean and beaches clean.

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