Dolphin watching holiday Island Losinj | Opatija Croatia

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Dolphin watching

Croatia is a dolphin friendly country

In the last 15 years the population of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting Losinj – Cres archipelago has faced a dramatic decline of about 40%. To protect this critically endangered population, Blue World proposed the establishment of the first marine protected area in the Mediterranean dedicated to bottlenose dolphins - The Losinj Dolphin Reserve. Proposed reserve is positioned in the waters of the eastern part of the Losinj - Cres archipelago.

Dolphin watching

The Losinj Dolphin Reserve was declared officially in function on 6th August 2006, thus making it the biggest marine protected area in the entire Adriatic, totaling 526 square kilometers.
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Together with bottlenose dolphins, this Reserve will help conserve a number of other endangered and protected species of flora and fauna found within the designated area. Wintering sites of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), sea grass (Posidonia oceanica), coral biocenoses and nesting sites of the common European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Moreover, recent research identified 152 species of marine flora, 303 species of marine invertebrates (7 strictly protected, 9 protected) and 112 species of fish (19 endangered species in Croatia) within the area. The area is known also for important underwater archaeological sites particularly the site where the Greek bronze statue, a priceless replica of Lizip’s Apoksiomenos, was found.
You can participate in the work of the Losinj Dolphin Reserve by working as a volunteer and helping out with the research and experiencing the everyday life in the Reserve. Any donations for the research will be most appreciated. There is also a map on the internet pages where you can mark a place where you have seen a dolphin, and thus help the researchers find out more about the migration habits of the Bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic. The thing the marine biology students, as well as other studying in a related field will love the most, is the possibility of doing the research work for the theses, masters or doctorate at the Losinj Dolphin Reserve
However, the most popular among general public is the fact that you can support the dolphin research projects though adoption of one of the dolphins. You just fill out the form (available in English, German, Italian and Croatian). You can choose between four beautiful dolphins and you can adopt as an individual, school or accompany. The donations go from 20€ for individuals to 70€ for companies. Each adopter gets an adoption pack and some extras like t-shirts, educational CDs or posters and everyone receives by e-mail information about the dolphin they adopted.
Dolphin day is organised every year on the first Sunday in August in Veli Lošinj. The celebration lasts throughout the day, different children's activities are organised, there are prizes to be won during the day, and different street performances and a concert can be seen in the evening. It is a celebration worth visiting and close to Opatija.



After reading all this you're probably eager to see the dolphins. In the Cres - Losinj area a population of 120 dolphins (species: bottlenose dolphin, tursiops truncatus) has its permanent residence.

The dolphins are by nature very friendly and curious creatures, but still the most important rules of conduct in the vicinity of the dolphins must be respected:

1.    Never chase the dolphins nor direct your vessel right towards them.

2.    If you wish to get closer, do it slowly, follow the direction of their movement parallel, and avoid any abrupt direction or speed changes that may upset them.

3.    It is better to give them a chance to get closer to you of their free will.

4.    Put the engine out of gear or switch it off. Do not produce any sudden sounds, especially with the engine, since this will upset the dolphin!

5.    Be sure that there is only one vessel at a distance of 100 m from the dolphin, and not more that 3 vessels within a distance of 200 m.

6.    Do not stay in their vicinity for more than 30 minutes.

7.    For the sake of your and their security do not swim nor dive with the dolphins, do not feed them and do not try to touch them.

8.    Abandon the site gradually accelerating your engine only when the vessel is more than 100 m away from the dolphins.

9.    Do not throw garbage in the sea and do not leave it on the shore or on the beaches; the dolphins may swallow plastic bags by accident, which can cause their death.

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