New Zealand has enacted new legislation that will prevent tourists from swimming with dolphins, a popular activity on the country’s north island.
According to reports, human interaction with dolphins at the Bay of Islands has resulted in a 66 per cent decrease of the creatures appearing in the region since 1999, with only 19 dolphins making regular returns to the bay.
The rules, which came into effect in July, will also help improve dolphin calf mortality, which currently sits at 75 per cent – the highest in the world for any dolphin population, either captive or wild.
While swimming with the creatures is banned entirely, licensed tour operators will be able to take visitors there by boat only in the morning or afternoon, allowing the animals to have several hours to themselves.
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