QLD: Dolphins "Largely unaffected" by hand-feeding BRISBANE, Oct 23 AAP - Dolphins in Moreton Bay off Brisbane and at Sea World on the Gold Coast remained largely unaffected by their contact with humans, a researcher has found. But hand-feeding and human interaction should still be limited and closely monitored, said University of Queensland doctorate student, Ilze Brieze. She found the movements and behaviour patterns of bottlenose dolphins feeding at the Tangalooma Island resort in Moreton Bay were similar to those of other wild dolphins in the area. The captive bottlenoses at Sea World, where groups of up to 10 people feed and swim with dolphins in a pool for 20 minutes four times a day, appeared to respond positively to the interaction, she said. Working with academics from the university's Farm Animal Medicine and Production Department, Ms Brieze carried out the one-year study following evidence that dolphins at Monkey Mia in Western Australia had become dependent on hand-feeding. This had resulted in dolphins seeking food from boats outside designated 'safe' areas, exposing them to pollution, disease and inappropriate foods. In some cases, Ms Brieze said, female dolphins neglected their calves in the search for food from humans, resulting in a higher death rate among their young. She added that while the results of her study were generally positive, follow-up studies should be carried out at least every two years.