Dolphins In Darwin Straits Due To COVID-19 Shipping Ban

This is the moment maritime officials in Argentina find themselves accompanied by a group of playful dolphins as they patrol the Beagle Channel, named after HMS Beagle, which carried Charles Darwin on his famous voyage.

The tiny orange vessel which the dolphins were filmed swimming around was part of the Argentine Naval Prefecture (Prefectura Naval Argentina) or PNA, which is part of the Argentine Security Ministry. It has the job of protecting both the country’s rivers and its maritime territory.

The group of dolphins was seen in the Ushuaia area, in the Tierra del Fuego province of southern Argentina, when the boat was one of several on a patrol organised by the PNA.

The crew on the inflatable can be seen slowing down as they realised that they were being accompanied by some hourglass dolphins (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) that were getting dangerously close the ship’s propellor.

Credit: Prefectura Naval/Newsflash

The cetaceans were found by the crew of the Coast Guard GC 67 Rio Uruguay.

In a statement obtained from the PNA by Newsflash a spokesman said they “realised that they had company near the mouth of the Moat river, and managed to record the harmonious swimming of the cetaceans”.

The officials said the unexpected arrival of the rare visitors is due to the low commercial maritime activity, which has decreased considerably due to the measures implemented by the Argentine government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

This encouraged the animals to get closer to the shore where they were then spotted.

It is not the first time that marine visitors in the area have attracted attention. A few days ago, a herd of killer whales entered the Ushuaia Bay area in search of food, and they were watched over by maritime authorities to make sure they did not come to any harm.

In a similar case in South America, a group of dolphins was seen on the coast of Lima, the capital and the largest city of Peru that lies on the Pacific Coast, where they were seen swimming and jumping for the first time ever in March.

British naturalist Charles Darwin had his first sight of glaciers in the Beagle Channel and wrote “it is scarcely possible to imagine anything more beautiful than the beryl-like blue of these glaciers, and especially as contrasted with the dead white of the upper expanse of snow” in notes from 29th January 1833.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Carlos DavalosSub-EditorAlex Cope, Agency: Newsflash

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