Hunting dolphins is a regular practice in Japan. Its schedule is from September 1 to February 28 and the government defines the annual quota for each species. The fishermen can either kill them or capture them. This year, the quota is 1749. Against this background, a non-profit organization filmed how the captors drove a pod of more than 100 wild dolphins into the Red Cove, notorious for this annual exercise. The organization that recorded the incident is Life Investigation Agency LIA. It says there were three juveniles among the lot and the final destination of the dolphins would be some marine park or aquarium.

They would remain captive for the rest of their lives. In February 2020, the SeaWorld theme park decided that trainers would no longer ride the dolphins.

9News AU says the location of the filming was Taiji, a small coastal town in Wakayama Prefecture. The images revealed a number of boats that were herding the dolphins into shallower waters and subsequently hauling them into their boats. It was not a pleasant sight as the animals struggled for freedom but were powerless against their captors. In January 2017, Japanese fishermen captured 100 bottlenose dolphins in five days.

The dolphins suffer in silence

LIA director Ren Yabuki was present at the scene and watched the operation of fishermen capturing the dolphins who struggled for their freedom but had to suffer in silence.

He explained to a section of the media about his helplessness. The fishermen herded the pod from the open waters into the narrow cove. 9News AU quotes him saying - "Dolphins that were selected were thrashing in resistance." He adds that the animals resisted in their own way. They even communicated with each other through clicking and whistling.

It was a heart wrenching sight with a few juveniles in the lot. A non-profit organization that works closely with LIA informs that 59 of the animals are identified for dispatch to the marine park and aquarium trade. In Argentina, there was an instance of the death of a baby dolphin when tourists were taking selfies with it.

Dolphins die from skin disease due to climate change

Another matter of concern for dolphins is a type of skin disease that can lead to deaths. When such losses are added to the losses from Japan's trade in this species, these animals could face issues of survival at a future date. According to CTV News, dolphins suffer from a skin disease linked to climate change. The disease is fatal. These are the findings of a study carried out by The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. Scientists concluded that the decrease in salinity of coastal waters has given rise to this skin disease in dolphins. It is a global phenomenon and first noticed in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 40 bottlenose dolphins near New Orleans had this deadly skin condition.

Scientists worried over the fate of dolphins

In the opinion of scientists, some of the dolphins have developed patchy lesions across their bodies apart from discoloration. They attribute this to a range of fungal and bacterial species and it covers a large portion of their bodies. CTV News quotes an official of the center saying - "This devastating skin disease has been killing dolphins since Hurricane Katrina, and we're pleased to finally define the problem." In view of more intense storm systems worldwide due to climate change, there would be an increase in loss of dolphins. There have been such instances in different parts of the world and the common factor was the sudden and drastic decrease in the salinity of the waters.

Scientists say the world must take necessary action to arrest climate change in order to check the loss of dolphins. One method of achieving this is to reduce generation of greenhouse gases by replacing fossil fuels with Renewable Energy.

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