28 January 2013
Entangled Dolphin Helped By Divers
During the past week, a remarkable video has been doing the rounds on You Tube, and BBC news, that shows a scuba diver rescuing a wild bottlenose dolphin from a fishing hook and line.
The film was taken by divers off Hawaii, visiting a favourite dive spot to see giant manta rays. As they filmed, a large dolphin arrived on the scene and swam closely and carefully around the divers, seeimingly asking for help. The dolphin had a fishing line entangled in hisor her mouth and around one flipper, plus a hook snagged into its fin. It must have been painful and without help the dolphin might have died.
The divers could see that the dolphin was trying to dislodge the fishing line by rubbing on some rocks but the hook and line were not coming free. One of the divers gently reached out to try to remove the line and then cut some of it off. The dolphin stayed very close to him and was very cooperative - turning onto his back and side so that the diver could reach the fishing line and hook. Half way through the rescue, the dolphin had to swim to the surface to take a breath but headed straight back to the diver so he could finish the rescue. What a special moment it was when he finished and the dolphin could swim off wild and free!
The gentleness and complete trust that the diver and dolphin show for each other is incredible and heart-warming to see. The diver showed true compassion for the dolphin and the entire encounter is clearly on the dolphin’s terms.
This special interaction between the human diver and the dolphin, that needed help is a wonderful example of the natural affinity we humans have for dolphins, and dolphins have for humans. The dolphin was clearly clever enough to know that he needed help and it seems that he approached the divers with that in mind. It is another example of how intelligent dolphins really are and what a deep level of awareness they have.
Thankfully this dolphin was rescued, but unfortunately every day hundreds of dolphins and whales are not so lucky. They drown entangled in nets and fishing gear, unable to break free. Bycatch, as it is known, is the biggest threat to whales and dolphins today and more than 300,000 die in fishing nets every year.