Smooth seas and dolphins are probably excellent ingredients for an amazing tour. A large school of the Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) was found quite close to the coast today. They moved very calmly over a larger area. There were always curious approaches to our boat.
Our second sighting involved Short-beaked Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Some animals also approached and the delighted people became objects of observation.
These two species of dolphins are still critically endangered by the capture of a third species. In the tropical east Pacific one observes socializing between tuna and dolphins (Spinner dolphins, Pantropical spotted dolphins and Common dolphins). When fishermen assume that there are tuna under a school of dolphins, the brutal driven hunt begins. The animals are hunted to exhaustion before the nets that catch the school of tuna are released into the water. Despite the introduction of requirements by the International Control Program for “dolphin-safe” tuna fishing, which stipulates that the edges of the net are held down before the net is pulled in, in order to allow the dolphins to escape, there is also a large amount of bycatch. Estimated numbers are 5000 dolphins per year. The real figure may be higher. In addition to the danger of dying in the net, the stress also damages the animals enormously and can lead to a decline in reproductive capacity. The only way to counteract the cruel hustle and bustle is to avoid canned tuna. Also consider tuna cans with the “Save” label do not guarantee that no dolphins lost their lives, because despite the “greenwashed label”, commercial tuna fishermen are awarded “death quotas” for dolphins. Conclusion: Do not buy canned tuna for the benefit of the dolphins and also the tuna (six species are on the list of threatened species).
So if you like to eat tuna, you are welcome to do so here on holiday, because tuna are caught on a line off Madeira’s coast.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Atlantic Spotted dolphins, Common dolphins