dolphin harbor

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Color Mutations

A few years ago, word got out that a pink Bottlenose Dolphin was spotted in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain. This really did happen, and the dolphin, named “Pinky,” is pink in color all over. Marineland Dolphin Adventure used to have several “blond” Bottlenose Dolphins – a dolphin that was yellowish-white, with a golden back and melon stripes. These dolphins were originally spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Steinhatchee, Florida (apparently around 1964). Albino Bottlenose Dolphins have also been seen (though they are rare). Another wild Bottlenose Dolphin, named “Patches,” is almost black in color, with white patches all over his body.

In April 2016 and June 2016, I was priveledged to see and photograph a light colored Bottlenosenose Dolphin in Placida Harbor/Gasparilla Sound, Florida. Ever since, I have referred to this dolphin by the nickname of “Zuri,” which means “white.” At first, I had assumed that “Zuri” was an albino Bottlenose Dolphin, but after studying my photographs, it is clear that Zuri is not completely white (note the golden-colored dorsal cape, and in other photos - not posted here - you can clearly see that Zuri has light grayish-golden melon stripes as well). In my opinion, his/her coloration is very similar to that of a “blond” dolphin (see photos of a “blond” Bottlenose Dolphin here). There’s probably no way to know for sure unless some genetic testing was done, but I almost wonder if Zuri could be a blond dolphin as well. 

“Zuri,” a white Bottlenose Dolphin in Placida Harbor



As few as 300 harbor porpoises remain in the Baltic Sea, an area between central and northern Europe.

Historically, they used to be quite abundant in the Baltic Sea. However, mass slaughters in the 19th and 20th century took a toll on the population. Up to 1,000 porpoises were taken each year in the Danish Straits in the in the 19th century during the migrations of the porpoises. That catch increased to 2,000 per year at the end of the century. The hunts declined throughout most of the 20th century until 1940 when they started back up again. 

The biggest threat to these small cetaceans now is without a doubt net entanglement. Gillnets in particular are devastating when it comes to harbor porpoises; the thin meshy nets are undetectable to them, and they become entangled and drown. Juveniles are especially vulnerable to entanglement. 

Currently, 7  Baltic Sea harbor porpoises per year die as bycatch in nets. 7 does not seem like a very large number, but this is considered unsustainable by the IUCN.

The population has dropped 60% over the past few years, most notably by Germany. One of the major problems is that fishermen are reluctant to switch to porpoise-friendly fishing gear; the alternative nets are not as effective at catching fish and have a lower yield. 

Another issue is that the governments are not acting to save the porpoises. Unless the public is informed about this issue and shows that they care, nothing will be done. 

Don’t let these porpoises become just a memory. Spread the word and let everyone know about these struggling creatures. Watch this video and share with your friends!

Before it’s too late. 

anonymous asked:

Why is captivity harmful for all cetaceans, rather than just orcas? Specifically I'm curious about bottle nosed dolphins. My opinion used to be that it's unethical for orcas because 1) of how they're treated (obviously), 2) the captive average lifespan is shorter than the wild average lifespan, and 3) they're at the top of the preditorial food chain. Dolphins seem to be happier around people bc of how social they are and they're captive lifespan tends to be longer. What is your opinion?

All cetaceans suffer in captivity no matter the species. They are simply too intelligent and have such complex social and spatial needs that cannot be met in an aquarium. Orcas seem to be the focus of most anti-cap groups because of the Blackfish documentary, because they are so large, and probably because there is fewer of them in captivity so it is easier to keep track of new births and deaths.

Other cetaceans, like bottlenose dolphins, suffer similarly to orcas. They tend to be the most popular cetacean in captivity because of the easiness it takes to train them and the permanent “grin” on their face, making them appear charismatic and friendly. However, there is a multitude of things that can go wrong when you confine these animals to a tank. They chew on gates. They mourn the loss of their young. They log at the surface. They engage in self-harming behaviors (like ramming their heads into walls).

It’s also popular in aquariums to let paying visitors swim with them. People have been raked, slapped, bitten, and slammed in programs like this. They only cooperate with the trainers because of a food reward. Interacting with dolphins is never safe when it is not on their terms.

Bottlenose dolphins also have complex social structures like orcas. While they may not stay with their immediate family for life, their bonds are very important to them. In the wild, females and their calves travel together to keep each other safe. On the other hand, males leave their mothers and travel in “bachelor groups” with other males to find females to mate with. They, (especially younger teenage ones) can become extremely aggressive around other dolphins when it comes to this issue.

So you can imagine the chaos that ensues when you throw these males with other females and even nursing calves into the same tank and call it good. One of the worst examples of this that I can think of was SeaWorld’s feeding pool. When I went there in 2008, I watched young calves being chased around and around this small pool by rowdy males with nowhere to hide. All of the dolphins had rake marks along their back or face. It was appalling, to say the least.

And this doesn’t just occur in dolphins. A few years ago at Marineland Canada, a young beluga calf named Skoot died from his injuries after being separated from his mother and rammed by adult males. Infanticide is more common in captivity than aquariums would like the public to believe.

Other problems with cetacean in captivity include:

• Belugas kept in too-warm of water and mixed with other species (i.e. belugas and Pacific white-sided dolphins in SeaWorld Texas’ Azul show)
• False killer whales stuck in tanks when they are able to dive to depths of 2000 meters in the wild
• Shy species like Commerson’s dolphins or harbor porpoises being exposed to loud music and crowds of people (I.e. SeaWorld’s atrocious slip-n-slide ride that goes straight through a Commerson’s tank)

Feel free to add any more examples that you can think of!

All The Known Captive Cetaceans We Lost in 2015.
  1. Marina - bottlenose dolphin - Marineland Cataluña
  2. Mila-Tami - bottlenose dolphin - Marineland France
  3. Tiqué - white sided dolphin - Shedd Aquarium
  4. Éclair - bottlenose dolphin - Marineland France
  5. Moonshine - spotted dolphin - Mote Marine Laboratory
  6. Julius - fraisers dolphin - Ocean Adventure
  7. Nanuq - beluga - SeaWorld Orlando
  8. Jenson - bottlenose dolphin - SeaWorld Orlando
  9. Milky - bottlenose dolphin - Kagoshima City Aquarium
  10. Ahi - bottlenose dolphin - Sea Life Park Oahu
  11. Nico - finless porpoise - Miyajima Aquarium
  12. Unnamed Calf - bottlenose dolphin - Ocean Park Hong Kong
  13. Ai - bottlenose dolphin - Suma Aqualife Park
  14. Berend - harbor porpoise - Ecomare
  15. Kotaro - pilot whale - Tsukumi Irukajima
  16. Unnamed Calf - harbor porpoise - Otaru Aquarium
  17. Jula - bottlenose dolphin - uShaka Marine World
  18. Boksun’s Calf  - bottlenose dolphin - Sea Pen.
  19. Hana - white sided dolphin - Vancouver Aquarium
  20. Unnamed Calf - beluga - Georgia Aquarium
  21. Lagos - bottlenose dolphin - SeaWorld Orlando
  22. Elvis - bottlenose dolphin - Dolphins Plus 
  23. Freya - orca - Marineland France
  24. Aloa - bottlenose dolphin - Parc Astérix
  25. Unnamed Calf - bottlenose dolphin - Marineland Dolphin Adventure
  26. Bea - bottlenose dolphin - Texas State Aquarium
  27. Unnamed Calf - bottlenose dolphin - Zoo Duisburg
  28. Chocolat - bottlenose dolphin -Yokohama Sea Paradise
  29. Unnamed Calf - bottlenose dolphin - Planète Sauvage
  30. Lily - bottlenose dolphin - Kujukushima Aquarium
  31. Aspal - bottlenose dolphin - Enoshima Aquarium
  32. Ji-Ling - bottlenose dolphin - Dolphin Marine Magic
  33. Valentin - orca - Marineland France
  34. Maris - beluga - Georgia Aquarium
  35. Beetle - bottlenose dolphin - Mirage Dolphin Habitat
  36. Stella - beluga - SeaWorld San Antonio
  37. Jake -bottlenose dolphin - Dolphin Encounters
  38. Unna - orca -SeaWorld San Antonio
  39. Delfa - bottlenose dolphin - Utrish Dolphinarium
  40. Unnamed dolphin - bottlenose dolphin - Dolphin Discovery Punta Cana.

(Note; this list does not include the names of the stranded / sick cetaceans that died soon after being rescued).

Besides Orca, what is your favorite whale, dolphin and porpoise?

Reblog and add your favorite whale, dolphin and porpoise!

I’ll start off with favorite:

Whale: Bowhead whale

Dolphin: Commersons dolphin

Porpoise: Harbor porpoise