On normal days, spotting cute dolphins, along the shores of Istanbul, wasn’t something the city’s residents got to witness frequently. But, things are slowly changing due to the ongoing lockdown. 

Lack of boat traffic and a ban on fishing due to the coronavirus pandemic has caused Istanbul’s most-loved inhabitants to return to the fresh waters of the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia.

Spotting dolphins in the Bosphorus Strait is close to impossible since it’s a very busy narrow waterway that connects the Mediterranean to the Black Sea right through the heart of Istanbul.


But since the lockdown was imposed, lack of human activity and transport has encouraged these mammals to come closer to the shore.

And, it’s definitely a treat for the city’s residents who don’t get a chance to witness playful dolphins swimming freely without any interruptions. 

Erol Orkcu, the Head of the Amateur And Sports Fishing Association in Istanbul said

A decrease in boat and human traffic across the Bosphorus has a big impact. Terrestrial and aquatic living things can remain free without human beings. That enables dolphins to come closer to the shoreline

Also, fishing in Istanbul is like a daily ritual on the Galata Bridge and on the banks of the Bosphorus so you can imagine why spotting dolphins isn’t as easy. 

But since the lockdown no fishing activity has been permitted, and this in turn, has encouraged dolphins to venture along the shores of the city. In an interview with AFP, Erol says:

Dolphins are coming closer to the edge of the water as the terror of uncontrolled anglers on the shoreline has temporarily stopped. I call it terror because 90 percent of them are not aware of what they are doing and cause incredible environmental pollution. 

Erol further states, frequent sightings of the dolphins is also an indicator of a healthy maritime ecosystem. 

Twitter users also couldn’t believe their eyes and this is how they reacted to the story:

Wildlife is definitely enjoying their time while we are isolating. It’s just beautiful.