Photos by Watter Al Bahry
“I was under the water, amazed at the dozen dolphins around me, when I suddenly realized they were setting up a strategy around me: while the young dolphins took me apart to play, the older females slowly took the cuffs away to protect them.” As Watter Al Bahry talks about his research trip through the Red Sea in Egypt, his eyes fill with excitement.
The young researcher and photographer participated in the Red Sea Dolphin Project, an initiative launched by HEPCA in 2010 to study dolphins and stimulate community development in the southern areas of Marsa Alam, Samadai and the Satayah reef.
“It is the first time Egypt studies dolphins and cetaceans in 70 years, when Jacques Cousteau developed the last report,” says Marina Costa, one of the Italian researchers that participated in the initiative. One of the most intriguing places in the world for marine researchers, Egypt is “the only country enacting the Jeddah convention for the protection of cetaceans in the Red Sea,” she adds.
“Why is this important? Dolphins are to the sea what birds are to the sky: without them, the whole ecosystem falls”, Al Bahry explains.