15 September 2007

What does the common dolphin (and of course other dolphins) mean to you personally?

(one of a series of questions posed to the Tethys president during a recent interview)

Common dolphins are quintessential expressions of beauty and grace in the marine environment. They are elegant and highly-evolved marine mammals that are tightly interconnected with their habitat. As long as they are there, and they are doing well, you know that the sea is alive and you can expect to find a number of other marine creatures all around. Tuna and swordfish, and of course their main prey: anchovies and sardines.

When I started studying common dolphins at Kalamos, these animals would surround our boat every day and swim in its wake. It was the marine equivalent of the Garden of Eden. Today, after the apple was stolen, we see common dolphins once a month. Their formerly healthy population has been reduced by one order of magnitude in only ten years. Common dolphins have become a symbol of how the most beautiful marine environment can be quickly devastated and corrupted by human activities, in the interest of a handful of commercial fishermen.

Giovanni Bearzi

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