11 Dec 2008

Let dolphins rest, says conservation department

2:35 pm on 11 December 2008

Commercial tourism operators and swimmers in the Bay of Islands are being warned to give dolphins "lunch breaks" during summer to stop them becoming stressed.

The Department of Conservation asking people to leave the dolphins alone between 11.30am and 1pm during summer.

The department's national marine mammal coordinator Steve Smith said the health and reproduction rate of dolphins can decline if there is too much interference from people.

Mr Smith said says dolphins are subjected to more boats and visitors in the Bay of Islands during summer, so the regulations are to ensure they get a chance to rest.