Whilst on a morning Whale and Dolphin Watching cruise with AB Marine on Tuesday 14 April 2019, Marine Biologist Eirik Grønningsæter, photographed two Bottlenose Dolphins in great distress.
Images from Erik are published here: http://abmarine.co.za/fishing-line-tragedy-bottlenose-dolphins-badly-injured/
On that same day I was on the AB Marine Vessel photographing a larger pod of Bottlenose dolphins.
It was only much later that I noticed the image above of a Bottlenose Dolphin with most of it’s dorsal fin missing. The assumption is that the same terrible thing happened to this one as the other two with entangled fishing line sawing away a portion of the dorsal as photographed by Erik.
The evidence is now in front of our eyes and we implore fishermen to please do their level best to retrieve their fishing line. Fishing off of reefs brings special challenges and if the fishing line gets caught in the rocks below the surface then it can cause great harm to the dolphins as it forms a lethal trap.
AB Marine is of the view; “If we in Port Elizabeth want to promote our marine tourism in a responsible and sustainable way then we all need to work together by collecting and reducing the use of plastic, fishermen need to collect used fishing lines, the proposed fish farm needs to be stopped or at the very least the owners made responsible for any injured marine animals.”