Don't get emotional, just
August 05 2003 at 07:54PM
By Stephen Cunningham
Dublin - Cellphone users worldwide will soon be able to
dial-a-dolphin if a scheme to record their underwater conversations
proves a success.
Scientists at a dolphin sanctuary off the west coast of
Ireland have teamed up with British mobile telecoms giant Vodaphone
to transmit the clicking and whistling sounds of bottlenose
"In theory you could phone up and listen to dolphins
while sitting in a traffic jam in Dublin," said marine
biologist Simon Berrow, of the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife
Foundation, based in Kilrush, County Clare.
As well as its use as a possible stress reliever, the project
could also lead to a greater understanding of the life of dolphins
and could prove helpful to dolphin-watchers who will be able
to check if the creatures are in the Shannon estuary before
starting out from shore.
The aim is to install underwater microphones in the estuary,
the only place in Ireland where dolphins are resident all year
One difficulty is that dolphins use a wide frequency band
when they communicate, of which humans can hear only a fraction.
"The Shannon is also a tough environment in that we
have to cope with strong currents and the swell coming in from
the Atlantic," Berrow said.