Diving With Dolphins

Best places to see dolphins

Diving with dolphins is not very common in Asia. It is more likely to see them from your liveaboard playing around the bow of the boat. But there are some places with a bit of luck you see them during your scuba diving holiday.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat has fantastic biodiversity where scuba divers from around the world love to go year after year.

Besides the beautiful marine life such as manta rays, sharks, pygmy seahorses, and stunning coral reefs, Raja Ampat has over 31 species of Dolphins and whales. The most common is the spinner dolphin. Spinner dolphins love to play in front of the liveaboards bow while cruising to a new dive site. When you are lucky enough, you can dive with dolphins on one or two occasions during your Raja Ampat liveaboard trip.

Komodo, Indonesia

During your Komodo liveaboard trip, Castle Rock is one of the dive sites where you can encounter dolphins during your dive. Other opportunities during the liveaboard cruise move from one area to the next when dolphins love to play in front of the bow.

Tubbataha, Philipines

Tubbataha has over 13 species of dolphins and whales; during your liveaboard cruise, there are changes to see the common dolphin from the bow. Swimming and diving with dolphins are rare, but you never know what comes along during a dive.

Maldives

You can see dolphins on cruises to the central, Southern, and Northern atolls in the Maldives. With a bit of luck when you are snorkeling, you can go swimming with dolphins. Most encounters will occur while moving from one atoll to the next or when the dhoni brings you to the dive site.

Species of Dolphins

More than 43 species of dolphins 38 are oceanic species, and the other five live in rivers. Here are some that are most likely to be seen in Asia

Common Bottlenose

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose

Fraser’s dolphin

Rough-toothed Dolphin

False Killer Whale

Killer whale

Habitat and feeding

Most of the dolphins live in open oceans and coastal waters. Several species migrate from one area to the other depending on the climate and the food supply. They prefer warmer temperatures to stay at, but at some points, as the food quantity is not plentiful, they might migrate to other areas.

As mammals, they need to breathe to stay alive, so often, they remain in the shallower waters. As they eat a lot, they go to deeper parts of the ocean to attain prey.

Dolphins are opportunistic feeders meaning they will feed on what is available to them at that time. Depending on the species and where they are located, they prefer to feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Dolphins use echolocation to locate their prey. When found, the pod of dolphins will keep the school of fish in tight control when each dolphin gets their turn to move into the school of fish to feed.

Another method they use is corraling, where they chase the fish into shallow waters where it is more accessible for them to feed.

Intelligence

Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals that can adjust to different situations. They are quick learners that are also very talented in mimics.

Other characteristics are grief, joy, and playfulness. They have teaching skills, innovation, self-awareness, and problem-solving.

Reproduction

Dolphins appear to mate not only for reproduction but frequently have recreational sex. Even they have attempted to mate with other animals as well as humans.

When they mate for reproduction, they can do that at any time of the year. The copulation happens with two dolphins belly to belly.

After about 12 months a live young are born. Other female dolphins act like midwives during birth, and later on, they will babysit the young.

Throughout the day and night, the young frequently will visit the female to feed on milk. The females do most of the upbringing of the young.

Male dolphins are sexually mature at around 11, whereas the female is that around the age of 9.