Dolphin Swim Australia (“DSA”) is the result of a dream by CEO, Andrew Parker, to bring humans and dolphins close together to interact in a mutually exciting way. Swimmers wear a mask and snorkel and hold onto a rope stretched between the two bows of a large catamaran as it is moving along. When dolphins choose freely to bowride, swimmers find themselves surrounded by dolphins and can view them at close range under the water. Observers on the boat are also often less than 2m from many beautiful, fast-moving dolphins, and hence experience the best dolphin watch around!
After over a decade of designing, refining and negotiating swim and safety procedures with regulatory bodies, in 2010 Andrew’s dream was realised; an activity in which the dolphins choose to swim with humans, and during which no harm comes to either species!
The Marine Parks Authority NSW and NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service granted DSA’s permit, with many conditions, and only after stringent examination of DSA’s swim protocols and safety management. They also stipulated that independent researchers must confirm high levels of compliance with Australian cetacean approach laws.
Compliance with Dolphin Approach Regulations
DSA was monitored for three years by Dr Carol Scarpaci, a leading authority and government adviser on dolphin and whale tour-boat operations. Her research showed unprecedented levels of compliance by DSA with Australian laws and regulations. These results confirmed that DSA never chases or harasses dolphins and that no harm comes to any dolphins as a result of this activity.