Dolphins face a variety of threats. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, some tuna fishers encircle herds of dolphins with large purse seine nets, entrapping and killing dolphins while trying to catch Yellowfin tuna. This fishing method has depleted populations of the Spinner, Spotted, and the Common dolphins. More then 6 million dolphins were killed in the nets of the tuna industry before public pressure led to the initiation of "dolphin-safe" fishing requirements.
Due to widespread coastal development, dolphins have also suffered greatly from the toxic waste dumping of sewage, agricultural runoff, and heavy chemical wastes. Oil spills, increased vessel traffic, and even ozone depletion all pose serious threats to dolphins and their habitat. Several US laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the International Dolphin Conservation Act (IDCA), and the Driftnet Control Act have been enacted to protect dolphins. However, strong public pressure is needed to ensure that these laws are fully enforced and that dolphin populations are allowed to recover.
Why Sponsor a Dolphin?
Dolphins need your help. The dolphin Sponsorship Program offers a way for you to get involved in learning about and saving the lives of dolphins around the world. Your sponsorship of a dolphin species enables the IMMP (International Marine Mammal Project) to continue their efforts to make the oceans safe for dolphins. By sponsoring an entire species of dolphins rather than an individual, you will directly support those dolphins in dire need of protection. The Dall's porpoise and the Bottlenose, Pacific white-sided, and the Eastern spinner dolphins are the most endangered species in the oceans. Preserving them will help ensure that all species of dolphins and porpoises can live safely in the oceans of the world.
Distribution Of The
Dolphins and porpoises are unique because they are transient species - they constantly travel the open seas. They have no particular home. Certain species tend to live in different waters, depending on the temperature, salinity, and depth. The distribution of the four species is illustrated on the map below. These species are listed as depleted by the National Marine Fisheries Service and without further conservation efforts, will be approaching endangered status.
You can sponsor your own species of dolphin by visiting one of these websites:
The Dolphin species that I sponsored is the Pacific White-sided. These dolphins have short, thick beaks and sharply defined fins and flukes. They have striking, but soft, black and white markings on their back and a white belly. They live in the temperate waters of the Pacific Ocean, from the coasts between North America and Asia. These dolphins tend to migrate north in the spring and south in the autumn, and bear their young during the summer and early fall.
This is a picture of the dolphin species that I am sponsoring.
(Picture by James Watt)
Last updated 02/03/03