Around the world, fishermen use gillnets to catch tuna. But they don’t just catch tuna. Sadly, other fish and marine animals become “bycatch” like sea turtles, sharks, and cetaceans. Dolphins, in particular, are killed by the tens of thousands by this fishing technique.
A recent study found that “More than 80% of Indian Ocean dolphins may have been killed by commercial fishing.” Researchers have found that since 1950, an estimated 4 million small cetaceans have been caught as bycatch in commercial tuna fishing nets.
In the Indian Ocean, gillnet fishing is pretty much unmanaged. It’s estimated that for every 1,000 tons of tuna caught, about 175 cetaceans are caught as well.
In 2006, “as many as 100,000 cetaceans – mainly dolphins – were caught in commercial gill nets.” The numbers are now, in 2020, at about 80,000 a year, not because there are less dolphins being killed as bycatch, but because dolphin populations have decreased so much that there are less dolphins to be caught.
We need to protect dolphins and other cetaceans from these grim deaths. Sign this petition asking the nations of Iran, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to ban gillnetting.
Sign these other petitions to protect dolphins as well:
- Stop Illegal Dolphin Slaughter in Peru
- Urge the U.S. to Deny Import of Captive Dolphins
- Protect the Dolphins Dying in the English Channel at High Rates
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