Common Dolphin

See Common Dolphins and much more in Cornwall with Orca Sea Safaris.


Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in Cornwall

We are lucky in Cornwall to have a marine environment which is rich with a wide variety of mammals.


These dolphins live in pods of between 50 and 100 individuals. They inhabit the deep offshore waters around our coastline and lucky for us, off Falmouth. They are very sociable creatures, enjoying bow riding and interacting with boats. Join us on a trip to have a chance of seeing common dolphins.

How to identify Common Dolphins:

  • They have attractive wavy marks along their sides of yellow, brown or grey, often described as an hourglass pattern
  • 1.5- 2.5 metres in length
  • Can swim at about 30 mph
  • Rarely seen in less than 180 metres of water

Common dolphins work together in the pod when feeding. They round up fish in a ball and bring them to the surface for feeding. They sometimes take advantage of human fisheries by taking fish that have escaped from the nets. A good way to spot feeding dolphins is to look for feeding Gannets as they often take advantage of the dolphins and steal as many fish as they can.

Threats and Conservation:
Common dolphins are often accidentally caught in fishing nets. Pair trawling, where two boats drag a fishing net between them, is the most dangerous form of fishing for them. British boats have been banned from pair trawling within 12 miles of the coastline. However there is no such legislation regarding boats from other countries. Their future is also closely linked to the sustainability of fish stocks.