There are only a few places in the world where Dolphin have learned to ‘strand feed’. This is an an inherited feeding technique used by bottlenose dolphins near and around coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina. The method is to herd fish, then charge and push them to shore.
A 13 foot (4 m ) Dolphin does not naturally throw itself onto land. Where I photograph they will do just that, and catch the fish, before turning and sliding back into deeper water. Awesome ! Do not get in their way !
The photograph above is a female Dolphin, the smaller dorsal fin belongs to her calf. She is teaching it to strand feed. This is how the technique is passed through the generations in Dolphin pods (groups).
IMPORTANT : These Dolphin need protection…from people ! They are trying to survive, and we are their biggest enemy. There are currently rules to protect them, if followed. These are huge animals that don’t like a cell phone in their face, or a person standing in the shallows trying to pet them, or a boat alongside their young, or …
All of these things happen each time we photograph them. No matter how far off the beaten path, people are around sooner or later.
My friend, David Ramage Productions, with the Marine Mammal Network, is currently working on educational videos to help raise awareness. I have been honored to provide a few still photographs for this project.
We also need each others help to carry our gear over a gazillion miles of sand during this project too. But that’s another story.
I promise an attempt to keep my rants to a minimum while I publish some of the work.
7 thoughts on “Dolphin Strand Feeding, Worst Kept Secret”
I’m ecstatic that your photographic work with the dolphins strand feeding is ongoing and that you’re involved in this educational campaign! Absolutely wonderful Ted!
Thanks so much. Most of the work will be by Ramage Productions, video. Which is great, the amount of gear needed, miles down a sand beach, could cripple us. A fun story here… first day the video gear, my gear, water, etc. was loaded on a collapsible wagon. Wonderful way to move equipment…just not on sand. Days end we took turns pushing / pulling it like pioneers moving out to the hinterlands. Next time just big back packs. 🙂
That sounds like a hard lesson Ted!
Do you promise? I am very grateful that you came along with me on the first day. Your photography will be a great addition to the video I hope to come up with.
I’m just a Sherpa 😀😀😀. Get to work, I want to see ‘the big one’..
Lovely shot, btw!
Thanks, that’s the series where I was focused all wrong on the strand. Got the end 😀