Anyone who has spent time on the ocean knows that spinner dolphins love to play. One of the best ways to encounter dolphins is to watch them riding the wake off the bow of a boat. In this photo I have captured a pair of Spinner Dolphins, Stenella longirostris, which are one of the more playful species of dolphin. Spinner dolphins are found in tropical waters throughout the world. Although one of the smaller dolphins, Spinners are often found close to shore. They are perhaps the most common species of dolphins encountered in the Indo Pacific region. They are well known for leaping high out of the sea in acrobatic displays. These dolphins reach a maximum length of around 2 metres or 6 feet and weigh less than 80kg (175 lbs).
In Indonesia, we often encounter Spinner Dolphins throughout the country while exploring the seas by liveaboard. We also occasionally find them along the coast of Bali when running day trips. They can be found in Alor and the Banda Sea in giant pods numbering in the hundreds.
They are listed as a protected species throughout most of their range, however, they are still exploited. Sadly, Spinners are often caught as by catch by the Purse Seine fishing fleets.