The behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in relation to boat traffic in New Quay, Cardigan Bay, by Megan Rush (2016)

The behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in relation to boat traffic in New Quay, Cardigan Bay by Megan Rush, Plymouth University (2016).
Effort data was collected from the harbour wall located in New Quay on a daily basis from 9am to 5pm between 2012-15. This data was observed in regular intervals of fifteen minutes over a two-hour period. Within these intervals, environmental conditions were recorded alongside sighting of marine mammal activity. This included the presence of boats within a 300-metre radius of bottlenose dolphins and their displayed behaviours, which is the focus of this study. In this study, there was only one significant behavioural response towards the presence of boats. The behaviour displayed was observed as being travelling in conjunction with long dives and surfacing irregularly. There has been a longstanding debate on whether boat activity is causing an impact on the semi-resident dolphins in New Quay. According to the results found here, there does not appear to be a high significant impact on the dolphins in the bay, but the impact of boats over a longer period could alter behaviour if traffic levels rise. The longer-term effects of boat activity would also require further investigation.

Full dissertation can be downloaded here - Megan Rush 2016