Dolphins like fishing piers and for good reason. Piers provide easy access to a variety of fish, and the humans do a lot of the work for them! When looking for new dolphin watching spots I always check out the fishing piers. Where there are fishermen there are usually dolphins too. Ever the opportunists, dolphins hang around waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Once fish are caught, the dolphins leap into action. Their goal — grab the fish before it is reeled in.
On a recent trip to Florida I watched this mischief get carried out numerous times. One fisherman told me he lost 19 fish to dolphins the day before! Although it is exciting to watch dolphins leap out in pursuit of dangling fish, these fish are attached to dangerous hooks. This is where the problem lies. Dolphins can and do get hooked and harmed. Discarded fishing line also causes problems.
NOAA and its Florida wildlife conservation partners are setting out to educate fishermen about the dangers of hooking and entangling dolphins. Notices describing “dolphin friendly fishing tips” and how to protect wild dolphins while fishing are popping up in an effort to reduce harm.
Here are some pictures of dolphins hanging around a gorgeous pier in Florida.
Partners in crime just waiting for their opportunity to strike!
Begging! “Maybe if I look really hungry this guy will help me out!”
These two took time out to play while waiting for their next victim to arrive.
Pelicans are also commonly hooked as they also spend a lot of time at piers with the fishermen.
This dolphin was heading in for the “kill”. What you can’t see here is the fish that had just been caught, and the fisherman preparing to reel it in. The dolphin jumped out of the water after it but he was too late. The fish was successfully reeled in!
Some excellent advice on how to enjoy fishing while reducing harm to dolphins!