Leave the small dolphins alone and let them grow!

This plea has come from Chief Fisheries Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food,??Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Stephen Willoughby, who has urged persons not to catch or sell dolphins that are less than six pounds.

???These small animals (two ??? six pounds) are juveniles of the species Coryphaena hippurus, typically caught as adults (over 10 lbs) in local waters,??? he explained.

The Chief Fisheries Officer said that some of the juvenile dolphins were being caught as they sheltered and fed in the sargassum seaweed floating along the island???s coastline.

???The capture of juveniles before they have had the opportunity to grow and reproduce can seriously reduce the number of mature dolphins available for harvest in this and coming seasons.

???Persons are being reminded that dolphin resources have biological limitations in which they can thrive but can be exhausted by indiscriminate exploitation, such as over-fishing, habitat destruction or catching immature animals.

Such indiscriminate actions will make it impossible for the dolphin populations to renew themselves,??? he emphasised. Mr. Willoughby pointed out that if fishing was not done responsibly, the stock of dolphin could collapse, eventually leading to smaller catches and lower earnings.

???Fishers are therefore once again strongly urged to desist from the harmful practice of fishing juvenile dolphins. Likewise, the buying public is urged to support efforts to prevent the collapse of the dolphin stocks by refusing to buy small juvenile dolphins, less than six pounds,??? he stressed.


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