Penn and Brian Balmer with Kate and Gracie, my dogs, sunset on roof of house I rented October, 2013 for “Inexpensive” photo survey on Mexico Beach, Florida. Five years later Category 5 Hurricane Michael destroyed the house down to its concrete slab. Photo credit Sharron Reeves
Hi My name is Penn Clarke, the founder of Dolphin Relief & Research. Ever since I had a close encounter with Bottlenosed Dolphins in the Bahamas in 1976, I’ve wanted to know more about them. Working with scientists and researchers all over the world who study marine mammals has been the joy of my life. Now I want to give back for all the dolphins have given to me.
September 1983 to October 1986 Penn Clarke owned lived on and operated a 51 foot sailboat in the Caribbean Bahamas and East Coast of the United States.
Penn at the top middle and Brian at far right during capture release September 2015. These are the interesting people that I worked with catching, doing health assessments, satellite tagging and releasing bottlenose dolphins, the two-week 02 RETPAHC research project was located mostly in the Atlantic Ocean off Brunswick, Georgia. We used six boats to accomplish this, going out each morning around
7:00 am and getting back to the dock as late as 6:00 pm. Photo credit GA DNR
I worked with 60+ scientfic people in August 2009 and 50+ in 2015 from all over the USA who came together on the same Brunswick-area waters. We were doing a Bottlenose Dolphin Health and Risk Assessment, HERA, in 2009 and a Dolphin Morbillivirus (DMV) in 2015. They represented NOAA, National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF), Dolphin RnR, 5+ veterinarians, Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the CDC, University of Georgia, Savannah State University, University of Florida, North Carolina State University, University of Connecticut, University of California, Georgia Aquarium, St. Augustine Marine Land, Atlantis, SeaWorld, GA DNR, and LUCKY ME.
From June 1987 to March 1988, an outbreak of cetacean morbillivirus from New Jersey to Florida led to the stranding of at least 667 bottlenose dolphins. Dolphin morbillivirus, DMV, is a severe combination of pneumonia, encephalitis and damage to the immune system, which greatly impairs the dolphin’s ability to swim and stay a oat unassisted. Another major die-off occurred from July 2013 to March 2015 when over 1600 stranded from DMV along the same East coast
Dolphins Hiapo and Elele with Dave Weller teaching them at private tanks in Sea Life Park on Oahu 1987. Photo credit Kitty Donnan
Dolphins have been interacting with humans for as long as we have known of their existence. Even though we all agree that Dolphins are wonderful creatures that seem to be extremely intelligent and friendly, we still are a huge threat for dolphins.
Having a deeper knowledge and information about dolphins is the first step towards a better conservation and understanding of these wonderful mammals. Also, this information is our weapon and even a little contribution of $5 will help to fight dolphin killing and habitat damage.
Donate today to help these wonderful creatures