Save Dolphins From Fishing Nets


Written by Rachael Prokop, online marketing and social media associate at Oceana

Large fishing nets are like invisible walls in the ocean. They’ll catch anything big enough to get its fins tangled in the lines. Often, that means dolphins.

Accidentally-caught animals are called “bycatch” by the industry, and it’s a very common phenomenon. Hundreds of dolphins are caught every year off US shores, and many drown before they are rescued. A dolphin can hold its breath for a long time by human standards — about 15 minutes — but nets may remain in the water for much longer than that.

And dolphins travel in pods, so when one gets caught, its family members might follow suit. Many times mothers and calves find themselves trapped together, unable to rise for air. Dolphins are intelligent and emotional — there’s even evidence that they grieve for lost family members. Drowning in a net is a tragic end for such a smart, social animal.

There are regulations in place to minimize these deaths, but it’s not enough. No one knows for sure how many dolphins are caught and killed every year, and without that baseline itís hard to set limits. We here at Oceana are working to ensure that fishery managers minimize the deaths of dolphins and other marine mammals, count the dolphins they do catch and stay within the set limits.


Related Stories:

New Finding Offers Hope for Critically Endangered Dolphin

Declare ‘Human’ Rights For Dolphins and Whales, Scientists Urge

Help Shut Down World’s Smallest Dolphin Tank


Photo from minds-eye via flickr


Fiona T.
Fi T.3 years ago

They deserve it

jessica b.
Jessica B.4 years ago

bycatch mishaps really PISS ME OFF

Lisa Eveland
Lisa Eveland4 years ago

thats so sad

Darla Taylor
Past Member 4 years ago

How sad and it's such a shame that this happens. We need to find a way to stop this from happening.

wchi wink
.4 years ago

This is a HUGE problem that we need to deal with!
Boycott fish! They've become pretty toxic anyway!
(what's left of them from "over-fishing"!!!)

Tanja Z.
Tanja Zilker4 years ago

thanks for info

federico bortoletto

Tutto questo dovrebbe finire.

Tanja Z.
Tanja Zilker4 years ago

this must be an end

Yvette Seargeant
Yvette Seargeant4 years ago

these poor creatures dont deserve to die this cruel death

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing