Hello my name is Miss Gillingham. Please join me as I travel to Greece to study the dolphins of the Amvrakikos Gulf!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Current Issues

Today, is the day, the conservation issues became real. Although excited by our find yesterday, our lessons and experience today told a different story.

Not so very long ago this area was filled with dolphins, mainly Short-beaked common dolphins which are similar to the striped ones we saw yesterday. Can you tell the difference? Look at the photo below and compare it to yesterdays. Take a look at the strips on the side of each.

According to Joan, when he first worked in this area, off of the town called Mytikas, the waters were full of dolphins, imagine that! There was no need to travel very far to see them. Money to increase development within Greece, led to lots of new, big, and fancy fishing boats. Some of these boats practised purse seining, which is a big net that pulls up like a purse, catching heaps of fish and sometimes even a dolphin :-( This type of over fishing (as well as others) led to the removal of most of the fish the dolphins survived on. No fish, no dolphins, so they either left or died out. If this continues to happen all over the world where large fishing exists, what do you think will happen to the dolphins? This is one thing Joan and his team are concerned about. So today, we headed back to the same waters, with a clearer picture in mind.

And today...we found nothing. Not one sight of dolphins. In an area, that only about 10 years ago, was full of both dolphins and fish. This is what we hoped to see...

wouldn't you?

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