A nine-month old dolphin was freed from fishing gear in the Halifax River near Daytona, Florida. A Sea World animal rescue team entered in the river in wetsuits and cradled the calf while removing the fishing line. They also calmed the calf’s mother because it had been staying very close by her offspring. For a wild animal rescued in water, the whole event is remarkably straightforward and smooth.
Not all entangled dolphins get this kind of quick, effective remedy however. One estimate made in 2003, indicated over 300,000 whales and dolphins die every year due to fishing gear left in water. In 2010 another report concluded entanglement and death in gillnets, purse-seine nets, traps, weirs, longlines and trawls threatens over 80 percent of toothed whale species.
Some fisherman don’t particularly care about dolphins because they sometimes eat their bait, but dolphins are protected by law. In Brazil, some fisherman were actually killing dolphins and using them for bait to catch cat fish.
Image Credit: NASA