Warning issued over the welfare of harbour dolphin

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A MARINE group has issued a warning to people trying to get close to the dolphin in Portsmouth Harbour.

It comes after British Divers Marine Rescue said it has received a number of phone calls from people concerned about the welfare of the animal.

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Spokesperson Sam Lipman said: ‘We have received reports of a solitary dolphin in Portsmouth Harbour and that people are getting into the water and interacting with it.

‘We would urge you not to do this as it can result in negative welfare impacts to both the dolphins and humans.

‘We have seen this happen several times now, with injuries resulting from attacks by these solitary dolphins, as well as injuries and death to the dolphins as they lose their fear of humans and boats. It is also important to remember that it is illegal in the UK to harass and disturb wild dolphins, which can and has resulted in legal action.

‘While we appreciate what an amazing opportunity it is to see these incredible creatures off our coast, we ask that you please watch the dolphin from land, where you can still enjoy its presence without causing any harm.’

The BDMR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) added that anyone concerned for the dolphin’s welfare or who sees someone getting too close can call 01825 765 546 or to the police, preferably with video and photo evidence.