Local dolphins learn to attack fishing nets – causing “massive loss” to fishing boats

All five fishing fleets in the province has joined forces to denounce a new and dangerous enemy – the dolphin.

It seems our local dolphins have discovered how to gang up in groups of up to 10 and attack fishing nets once they are full of fish. The dolphins bite through the nets with their powerful jaws and eat the fish inside.

This means that not only do the fishing boats lose the catch, they can’t cast their nets out again (because of the holes in them, and the waiting dolphins) and have to return to port empty.

Dolphins are cunning little brutes. Here’s one asking for help from a passing diver to get a net off it:

Adra, Roquetas, Carboneras, Garrucha & Almería fleets have all got together over the weekend to demand compensation from the government or else they will have to start protecting their nets, they warned.

CEPESCA, the Spanish fishing association (hardly an impartial observer) backs up the claims and says that dolphin attacks on Andalusian fishing boats (186 of them) could be causing up losses of up to three million euros a quarter.

Adra port carried out a survey, and said that in the last six months of 2014 fishing boats from the port reported 110 dolphin attacks that caused losses of €375.000. Diving (ah hem) into the report, I note that includes petrol costs, the cost of an empty trip and manpower as well as repair to nets and lost catches.

There’s probably a connection between the recent surge in attacks and the increased number of dead dolphins washing up on Andalusian beaches recently. But I don’t know what it is.

And to finish, here’s a lovely picture of a baby dolphin and a baby penguin being friends:

All together now… aaaaaaah.

One Reply to “Local dolphins learn to attack fishing nets – causing “massive loss” to fishing boats”

  1. CEPESCA should support the design of new acoustic deterrents (commonly known as Pingers). We have been supplying Pingers to fisheries the world over for the past twelve years successfully reducing cetacean bycatch and saving fishermen thousands of dollars in nets repairs, lost fish and lost fishing time. We believe that it is possible to stop Dolphins from attacking caught fish in nets with the appropriate Pinger (One that will not harm the Dolphins)

    James Turner
    Future Oceans

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