Playful juveniles and ex-turtles

Boat trip of bizarre occurrences dolphin with rope around tail

Today’s early morning boat trip was filled with strange occurrences. At some point during the trip, our captain decided he needed to try his hand at tuna fishing. There were a couple tuna boats offshore, so we made a bee-line for them and our captain dropped a fishing line in to test his luck. He came up empty handed however, and we moved on. We had a very long encounter with Joo (#551) a female juvenile who was very curious of us. I had seen her a few times last year with her mother (#057 Shimibaa), but she was out there today goofing off with her friend #572. They both whistled excitedly and circle swam us for over 10 minutes! Good fun! As you can tell from the above picture, #572 has some rope wrapped around her tail. This sort of problem occurs quite frequency all around the world – all sorts of cetaceans, from small dolphins to the largest of whales, get tangled in discarded rope and fishing line. Unfortunately, our oceans are filled to the brim with this sort of human trash. There was much talk and effort this past year to cut the ropes from #572, but it is a terribly difficult process. For it to happen, she must be captured; a procedure that may result in death or injury to her or the other dolphins. It was established that the risks of trying to save her would be too great and may jeopardize the health and well being of the other dolphins. Sometimes there is no easy solution; my first instinct is of course to help out – but a bit of objectivity makes you realize that trying to help might do more harm than good.  dead sea turtle Onto strange occurrence number two: as we were heading back into port, we passed by a dead marine turtle floating at the surface. We fished it out of the water and had a good look to see what had happened (picture above). There were no signs of trauma of any kind – she hadn’t been struck by a boat or chewed on by sharks or dolphins. Natural causes perhaps? Hard to say. If only CSI were here to help us out with this one. I suppose I contaminated the crime scene by hauling her out of the water. What would Grissom think of that?