Dolphins spotted in the Bosphorus as Istanbul residents stay at home due to Covid-19 lockdown
As some countries start to ease lockdown measures after months of restrictions, Istanbul's dolphins have made the most of quiet waterways in the Bosphorus. Usually the long-nosed mammals prefer to avoid the busy Bosphorus Strait that divides Istanbul between Europe and Asia.
Like Mumbai and Sardinia, Istanbul has also seen a sharp decline in boat and human movement which has led to the dolphin sightings. However, there are usually some sightings throughout the year.
In March, dolphins swimming by the port of Cagliari, which is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia, went viral online. The dolphin theme seems to be making quite an impact on social media users as this week, Twitter also was overjoyed with dolphins swimming near the coast of Mumbai.
Now, Istanbul residents have taken to the social networking site to express their joy at the new dolphin sightings.
AFP reports that since 1983, maritime mammal hunting has been prohibited in Turkey, and dolphins are protected by law.
This video was filmed in Istanbul’s Ataköy Marina on the western bank of the Bosphorus Strait.
However, Yahoo News reports that dolphins are swimming around the port at this time of year isn’t surprising. According to Arda Tonay, a professor of marine biology at the University of Istanbul and vice president of the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) :
Three types of marine mammals live in the Bosphorus: porpoises, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins, which are what you see in the video.
This is the time of the year when you are most likely to see them. Even when the boats are moving around, bottlenose dolphins often come to this marina at night or in the early morning when there are less people around. Because activity has decreased considerably, they’ve started coming during the day, as well.
So while this news had nothing to do with the lockdown imposed on citizens because of Covid-19, it's always nice to see dolphins frolicking in the seas.