Dolphin Encounters

Dolphin Encounters (DE) at Blue Lagoon Island is one of the top tourist attractions in Nassau, The Bahamas and is owned and operated by a local family. DE began in 1989 when two Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins were rescued from an aquarium that closed in Nassau. The animals were relocated to a large all-natural seawater dolphin habitat on Treasure Island, Abaco, The Bahamas. Soon after, six more dolphins joined their marine mammal family, which created the foundation of what is today known as Dolphin Encounters. In 1995, all the dolphins had been re-located to the Blue Lagoon Island facility near Nassau: the dolphin habitat covered three acres in surface space with depths to 25-feet. In 2006, six California Sea Lions, who had lost their home and habitat in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina, joined the group at Blue Lagoon Island. In 1996, Dolphin Encounters was chosen by Universal Studios to work on the movie “Flipper” starring Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood. Three dolphins played the famous aquatic star. DE was also involved in the making of several well-known commercials for companies such as Sony and Visa. Some of DE’s dolphins also starred in the Mary Kate & Ashley adventure film, “Holiday in the Sun.” DE dolphins have been featured on CBS, NBC, E!, CNN, ESPN, MTV, QVC, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, many local ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates, the BBC, SKY News, VOX TV and many other international television and radio shows and networks, magazines and newspapers. Dolphin Encounters is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, (IMATA) the largest organization of its kind. In 1997, DE became a member of the prestigious Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, confirming its status as one of the top marine parks in its field. Our natural seawater lagoon has facilitated many successful births, including three calves by our oldest female Princess, one of the original dolphins. The DE facility offers a multitude of special education and marine conservation programs to local schools and underprivileged children. Over two million visitors from around the world have participated in our dolphin programs. Dolphin Encounters provides this rare opportunity in a safe environment with an emphasis on education and entertainment. DE’s main objective is to let guests interactively experience dolphins and sea lions to heighten their awareness and understanding of these truly magnificent animals and similar species.

Blue Lagoon Island, also known by its official name Salt Cay, has been an interesting part of The Bahamas’ history for centuries. Located just three miles from Nassau, it is now the home of the dolphins and sea lions of Dolphin Encounters and is owned by a local family. This incredibly beautiful island has had a fascinating past.


Dolphin Acoustics

DCP studied the dolphins at Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island for almost a decade. Our focus was on dolphin vocal behavior. We have used the MVA, an SPL (sound pressure level) meter and two Song Meter SM2M Marine recorders to document dolphin vocalizations at Dolphin Encounters. In collaboration with Drs. Darlene Ketten, Klaus Lucke and Jason Mulsow, we examined the hearing capabilities of several dolphins (both sexes and several ages) to get an idea of their range (Hz) of hearing.

Dolphins produce a variety of sounds including whistles, clicks, pulses, whines and more. In addition to these sounds, they also each have a distinctive whistle used to maintain contact with their buddies. You can view some samples of spectrograms of dolphin whistles below – a spectrogram is a picture of the sound produced.