A group of Bangladeshi fishermen rescued a pantropical spotted dolphin that became entangled in their net in the Bay of Bengal.
The captain of the vessel, Younus Kholifa, is part of a Citizen Science Fishermen Safety Network pioneered by WCS and supported by WorldFish through the USAID EcoFish Project. As part of the project, fishermen use a GPS to collect scientific data on accidental entanglements of dolphins, marine turtles, sharks and rays.
After the crew, had set their nets for hilsa, an important foodfish and delicacy in Bangladesh, Captain Kholifa became concerned when he saw a school of dolphins nearby. Shortly thereafter, one of the crew spotted a struggle in the net. When they realized a dolphin had become entangled, they quickly and carefully brought the 250-pound animal on board where they cut the net free.
These dolphins are air breathing mammals and, if they become entangled, it is critical to rescue them as quickly as possible because otherwise they will drown. Local fishermen consider dolphins as their brethren at sea. When the animal safely swam away the crew celebrated.
After the rescue, Captain Kholifa said: “I feel very happy. Because the entanglement occurred close to the boat, this time we succeeded. It was a privilege to be part of the rescue. These animals are beneficial to all fishermen.”