Celebrated on 14th of April every year, Dolphin Day is a day dedicated to one of the cutest and intelligent water mammals, Dolphins. Since the 1990s, this day has been celebrated worldwide to focus on the issue of hunting of dolphins by humans. This day came into existence during the last decade to put a ban on the hunting of the Japanese dolphins. After that, Dolphin Day became an annual festival to celebrate the existence of these highly intelligent and majestic marine animals.
Man-made developments has lead to a fall in their numbers bringing them on the verge of extinction. Throughout the world, various meetings and campaigns are organized on this day to address this sensitive issue. San Francisco, New York City and Tokyo are the main centres of these campaigns. Every year, thousands of people join hands together for the cause.
It has been evident through the years that whenever humans have interfered with any natural habitat, be it forests or water bodies, the consequences have been precarious. Careless and destructive practices by humans are posing irreplaceable threats to the dolphins.
About 95% of their deaths are linked to human-related causes. The advancements in technology have resulted in the depletion of dolphin species. These creatures are adversely affected as their environment is contaminated with the infusion of oil, heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides and plastics by the humans. These pollutants and toxicants get into their bodies, sometimes, leading to their deaths.
Being aquatic animals, they depend heavily on their sense of hearing to move, to hunt and to communicate with their companions. The constant underwater noises created by ship engines and navigational radar and sonar devices scare and injure these creatures. These advancements in technology have forced dolphins to leave their breedings and feeding grounds.
Taking them away from their natural environment will expose them to diseases and make them vulnerable. As a result of the human-driven activities, they often get trapped in cages, fishing nets and bump into ship and rotor blades. They are also used as baits in fishing sports by humans.
Consequences of their extinction
Depletion of dolphin species is a matter of grave concern for marine biologists and naturalists. Endangering these marine animals increases a possibility of their depletion. With their extinction, an imbalance will be created in the ocean ecosystem and food chain. The species which the dolphins feed on will populate in large numbers and ultimately, causing a threat to the marine ecosystem.
Ganga Dolphin-India’s national aquatic animal
Even after being declared as the national aquatic animal of India, the number of Ganga Dolphins is depleting day by day. Only about 2000 Ganga Dolphins are left in India. The reduction in their numbers is due to the construction of dams, poaching and pollution in the rivers. Near about 100 dolphins are killed every year by humans. The Government authorities in India are taking strict actions against those who are engaged in the activities of harming dolphins.
Yangtze River Dolphin of China
Yangtze river dolphin is the victim of rapid industrialization in China. The species went extinct due to huge industrial activity that took place around the river system leading to its extinction. Yangtze river dolphin was also called “Goddess of the Yangtze” and held a special place in the cultural history of China.
Corrective measures to be taken
This Dolphin Day, we all should cherish the existence of such playful and marvellous creatures on Earth. Take a promise to diffuse as much information as you can on this critical issue. Let ours be the generation who can change things for the better.