The Threats for Dolphins
Today the blue planet is a dangerous place with many threats for dolphins, which are mainly caused by man. The scientific estimates of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (www.wdcs.de.org) assume an annual bycatch of about 300’000 whales and dolphins – solely caused by the deep-sea fishing industry. The majority of them are dolphins. Moreover, overfishing of the food resources for dolphins are becoming scarce.
Another problem: The marine mammals are at the end of the food chain. Over the years, they accumulate through the food intake high pollutant concentrations. It comes to organ damage, reproductive rate decreases, the immune system is weakened, and the mortality rate is increasing.
In addition, many confounding factors impact on the habitat of the dolphins. A key factor for animals living in the sea is the vessel traffic with its immense high noise levels. River dolphin populations are often separated by the construction of dams and, consequently, the genetic diversity for the continued existence is no longer guaranteed.
Yet another threat is omnipresent. Dolphins are being followed for commercial reasons. During the so-called “Drive Fishery”, the bloodthirsty hunt in Japanese waters, the most beautiful animals are sold to dolphinariums. The rest is killed.
In Peru, approximately 15’000 dolphins are killed each year. The animals are harpooned, pulled on the boats and bludgeoned to death. They are then used for shark baits or human consumption. Hundreds of dolphins and small whales are also killed every year on the Faroe Islands, which belong to Denmark, because otherwise, according to their own statements, the population would starve to death.
This all results that today many of the 35 marine and 5 river dolphin species are threatened or endangered highly. This statement is given by the conservation organizations and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). If not acted quickly, the endangered species could become extincted in the foreseeable future. The clock for this disastrous and extremely worrying development runs – incessantly!
Horrible Slaughter of Dolphins in Japan
The hunt for dolphins in Japanese villages is nothing new. Every year more than 20’000 dolphins, including bottlenose dolphins, white sided dolphins, spotted dolphins, but also pilot whales and fake killer whales are slaughtered in an inhumane way in a bay in Japan’s Taiji.
The animals are first scared by loud banging on hulls and then chased into shallow bays. They are so in panic that they partially jump out of the water on the razor-sharp cliffs. The most beautiful animals are sold and the rest stabbed with lances. The hunters clog the wounds extra with cork, so that the animals bleed internally and the water does not turn so red.
This cruel and inhumane practice is sanctioned and controlled by the Government of Japan, which claims that these animals compete with the fishermen and slaughtering them is a means of pest control, but no evidence for this claim exists.
The dolphins are processed and used as pet food (e.g. dog food) or fertilizer and the government is encouraging the consumption of dolphin meat. The most beautiful living ones are sold to dolphinariums worldwide.