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Page updated May 31, 2023


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About Us

How it all started

In 1974 Dr Horace Dobbs BSc. PhD., after a successful career in conventional scientific research, met a friendly wild dolphin that changed his life!

He was aware that the dolphin that had befriended him had a brain as large and complex as that of a human and became intrigued by the effect dolphins had on the people with whom they came into contact.

In 1978 Horace founded International Dolphin Watch (IDW), a non-profit organisation for the observation, conservation, study and protection of wild dolphins.

He won numerous international awards for his visionary books and films, in particular his series of fictional Dilo Books that were both entertaining and carry a conservation theme.

- What We Did -
Research The dolphin survey project was established at Cambridge University with Professor Sir Richard Harrison to monitor dolphin populations worldwide. We contribute data input from a wide variety of dolphin watchers around the world. We co-operate with organisations monitoring cetacean populations in the North Sea and introduce people to observational procedures. All our research was non-intrusive none is conducted with captive dolphins.
Conservation We actively lobbied governments worldwide – pressing for laws to be upheld where they are infringed and urging for changes in legislation that will help to save dolphins and protect the marine environment.
Education We were actively involved in education and produce an education pack. IDEAL (Integrated Dolphin Education and Learning) is based on a fictional dolphin named Dilo who fires the imagination and makes learning joyful for teachers, parents and children, including those with special educational needs.
Dolphin Watching Guidelines We produced guidelines on how to behave in the presence of dolphins for boat users and those who want to watch or swim with dolphins. We do not approve of keeping dolphins in captivity. See Dolphin Code of Conduct (pdf file)
Strandings We had links with organisations involved in the rescue and treatment of stranded and injured marine mammals.
Native Wisdom We forged links with indigenous peoples, such as the Australian Aborigines, to find ways of applying their ancient wisdom and understanding of the natural world to help solve present ecological problems.
Dolphin Healing We researched dolphin healing and investigating ways in which the benefits of swimming with wild dolphins can be recreated artificially.
Co-operation We had a policy of co-operating, not competing with other conservation organisations that strive to help dolphins.