A small pod of dolphins was spotted in Marsamxett Harbour, close to the shore of Manoel Island, on Saturday evening. 

While dolphins are a common presence in Maltese waters, it is rarer for them to be seen swimming so close to shore, as at least three were in this footage sent to Times of Malta.

Video: Kenneth Darmanin

Sightings have increased over the last year, with the quieter waters brought about by a reduction in marine traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic one likely explanation. 

"Typically cetaceans stay away from the coast because they are very sensitive to underwater noise," marine biologist Alan Deidun told Times of Malta last year. "An absence of that might signal there is less chance of getting hit by a boat, which happens to cetaceans frequently."

Recent reports indicate that the number of bottlenose dolphins estimated to live in and around Maltese waters ranges between 79 and 224.

Video: Kenneth Darmanin.


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