CONCERNS over the safety of dolphins in Weymouth Bay have been raised again after a number of boats and jet skis were reportedly seen harassing them.

Weymouth is known to have a number of resident dolphins in its waters, with three popular locals named Danny, Harry and Will.

Weymouth resident Lee Selby said he saw jet skis and boats "heading off the couple of resident dolphins" on Thursday, May 21 and said: "I see the dolphins regularly and it's not good for them to be harassed."

Dan Bell, owner of Jurassic Jetski Tours, was at the scene. He said: "Our jet skis have been sat up for a couple months so I was out giving them a run before we start to open for the season when we are allowed to.

"I was on my way back from Durdle Door and passed some of the cruise ships anchored in the bay when two dolphins made themselves known and swam alongside our craft and in our wash."

Mr Bell is often visited by the dolphins in the bay and knew to immediately idle his engine and observe the dolphins from a distance. However, he then saw two boats and two personal watercrafts (PWCs) notice what was happening and start going after the dolphins.

"The boats and PWCs seemed keen to see the dolphins and followed them," he said.

"They were all moving around with a wash coming from their vessels around 15-20 mph."

He called for more education to be given to boat and jet ski owners about how to behave around marine wildlife to prevent this kind of dangerous behaviour: "When we are open and operating Jurassic Jetski Tours, marine wildlife especially dolphins is a subject we cover in our safety brief.

"With the increasing amount of sightings over the last three years it’s definitely something all water users need to be aware of.

"We brief all our customers that if we are joined, come across dolphins or any marine wildlife in that matter we always stop and go into neutral. We watch and admire and try get some photos for a few minutes to then continuing on our tour.

"People with all types of watercraft I think need to be made more aware of the the marine wildlife we have in our local waters and respect them in the natural surroundings."

SIGHTINGS of dolphins in the Weymouth area are often reported to Lisa Skelsey, who runs the Danny the Dolphin group on Facebook.

She has been trying to educate boat users in the area on how to behave around dolphins, but fears that the inquisitive nature of the animals could cause themselves harm.

She said: "Danny pushes boats to try and move them, he does it often to the gig rowers in Portland, that is why we are now advising for the engine to be killed before it kills him.

"We need to get the info that are on both of the leaflets out for people to see: Try and keep the speed to a minimum, cut the engine if possible or idle if its a jet ski, definitely no wake and no change of direction.

"Ports, marinas and slipways should have dolphin information to stop this from happening.

"I am trying to find a graphic designer that would help make a new poster that stands out. There are brilliant leaflets out there but too wordy or too pale they just don’t stand out enough for people to stop and take note of.

"My mission last year was informing the marinas and ports which I have done, my mission this year is to get a new leaflet that stands out and get that in areas for people to see."