Sunday, 29 July 2007

Recent very troubling research

A report posted July 17th, 2007, on a scientific forum has shown that in Brazilian waters, as many as 83 dolphins were killed in a single fish netting operation. This is part of the ongoing, and little documented, killing of dolphins by local fishermen in fisheries around the world.

A quote from the posting:
"We have just concluded a one-year monitoring program for incidental catches of small dolphins in the gillnet fishery operating off northern Brazil.
Since August 2006, a total of 11 field trips were monitored onboard a fishing vessel operating off the coast of Amapa' State. The main target are 'pescada-amarela' and 'gurijuba', higly prized in the fish markets of Brazil. It was detected a large by-catch of dolphins, all of them Sotalia.
Molecular analysis of a large sample set of Sotalia specimens were conducted at Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All specimens were identified as S. guianensis.
Numbers of dolphins found entangled varied from one to 83 in a single boat operating off the northern Brazilian coast."

Sotalia dolphins are commonly known as the Tucuxi, an unusual dolphin, in that it can live in both salt and fresh water. It is sometimes seen as far inland as the foot of the Andes, 1,500 miles up the Amazon River. Its ocean range is from Nicaragua to southern Brazil.

A small dolphin, it weighs from 75 to 100 pounds (35-45k), from 4.5 to 6 ft (1.3 to 1.8m) long.
It is a beautiful, small, elegant dolphin, sometimes confused with Bottlenose Dolphin calves.

No one knows how many there are. Fewer and fewer each day, it seems....

Remember, dolphins are not under any form of direct international protection, such as the Whaling Moratorium of the International Whaling Commision, a UN supported organization. Only local, and international concern protects them.

The Ambassadors

No comments: