Investigator College students and teacher Renee with skipper Dan and volunteer Tony heading off on a field survey December 8th 2011

The last field surveys at Victor Harbor for 2011 varied considerably in terms of successful sightings. On Wednesday 7th December the SA Whale Centre volunteers were able to closely observe 11 Bottlenose dolphins including 2 juveniles in the area from Shark Alley near Wright Island through to Granite Island. Again having PhD Candidate Nardi Cribb on board provided an extra resource in terms of being aware of latest research findings and how they apply to the Victor Harbor situation. Of special note was the extreme interest the animals showed towards a sail training craft plied by students from the Aquatic Centre. Their obvious delight in frolicking around without the possibilities of propeller strike was wonderful to behold and their fascination was matched by those on board the yacht. A lack of observations of any form blighted the survey on the following day, conducted by students and staff from Investigator College. Their enthusiasm however was fantastic and the area from King’s Beach to Oliver’s Reef was carefully traversed without success.The students worked tirelessly in the afternoon at the SA Whale Centre analysing data collected the day before and on previous surveys, with another 6 animals added to the ever growing catalogue. Their laudable efforts, together with those of Whale Centre volunteers are being highly successful in raising awareness regarding the protection of the dolphins and their habitat in Encounter Bay and along the South Coast. Research effort will continue in 2012 thanks to Natural Resource Management Board funding and support from The Big Duck Boat Tours and Kangaroo Island Sealink. Hearty congratulations and sincere thanks to everyone involved in establishing the highly successful and sustainable Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch in 2011.