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March 21st 2014

20 Mar 2014 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

 

Help prevent the annual slaughter of dolphins
the-coveAnyone that likes to scuba dive will have their own reasons for doing so. Some like the feeling of weightlessness. Some like to challenge themselves by exploring wrecks or by going cave diving. But it's pretty unanimous that anyone that sets foot in the ocean is awed by the marine life that they encounter. The thought of swimming with a dolphin has to be on the bucket list of any diver, bar none. As divers, its important that we do everything we can to preserve the life in the oceans so that we, and anyone in the future can enjoy seeing the incredible variety of life. Sadly not everyone seems to think like this and the slaughter of marine animals is occuring every day at a truly frightening rate. For example, in Taiji, Japan, 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales are killed each year. The killing begins on September 1st and usually continues until the following March, fishermen herd entire families of small cetaceans into a shallow bays and mercilessly stab and drown them to death.
This annual slaughter would have continued unabated without anyone even knowing about it if it weren't for the organisation Sea Shepherd. They took covert footage of this horrific event, which culminated in the release of the documentary, "The cove". This film highlighted to the world the events that take place in Taiji, and since 2010 Sea Shepherd has an ongoing presence of volunteers standing watch on site at the Cove. They are The Cove Guardians. The worldwide attention that their work receives is helping to put pressure on the Japanese Government, so that they will put a stop to the killing. But their work costs money and they need your help.
Big Blue Diving is committed to marine conservation, and through Big Blue Conservation, we run numerous programs to encourage coral growth around Koh Tao, increase the numbers of marine creatures such as turtles around the Island, and to educate the local Thai residents on how they can minimise their impact on the local marine environment. We also run marine conservation programs and internships, and educate all of our customers on the importance of looking after the oceans.
So we want to do our bit to help Sea Shepherd. So, for the rest of March, if you like Big Blue Conservation on our facebook page, we will donate 10 baht to Sea Shepherd so they can continue their important work. Please take 5 seconds out of your day to do it, and pass the message on to as many people as possible.

Dolphin facts
Dolphins are such incredible animals, most of us would agree. But, apart from the fact that they look like they're smiling all the time, why are they so amazing? Here's why:

1. There are almost 40 distinct species of dolphins. Most live in shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans, and five species live in rivers.
2. Dolphins are carnivores. Eating fish, squid and crustaceans. A 260-pound dolphin eats about 33 pounds of fish a day.
3. Known for their playful behavior, they are highly intelligent. They are as smart as apes, and the evolution of their larger brains is surprisingly similar to humans.
4. They form part of the family of whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. Killer whales are actually dolphins.
5. Dolphins are very social, living in groups that hunt and even play together. Large pods of dolphins can have 1,000 members or more.
6. Depending on the species, gestation takes nine to 17 months. After birth, dolphins are surprisingly maternal. They have been observed nestling and cuddling their young.
7. A dolphin calf nurses for up to two years. Calves stay with the mothers anywhere from three to eight years.
8. Dolphins have acute eyesight both in and out of the water. They hear frequencies 10 times the upper limit of adult humans. Their sense of touch is well-developed, but they have no sense of smell.
9. Dolphins have few natural enemies. Humans are their main threat. Pollution, fishing and hunting mean some dolphin species have an uncertain future. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin was named functionally extinct.
10. Because dolphins are mammals, they need to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Unlike land mammals that breathe and eat through their mouths, dolphins have separate holes for each task. Dolphins eat through their mouths and breathe through their blowholes. This prevents the dolphin from sucking up water into the lungs when hunting, reducing the risk of drowning.

 

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