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article imageOp-Ed: Facebook user exposes man posing with hooked dolphin

By Elizabeth Batt     Apr 19, 2012 in Environment
When a Filipino man working on a South African boat posted an image of a dolphin caught on a hook, he had no idea that the image would cause viral outrage. Digging deeper, revealed other questionable online posts about hooking dolphins in the US.
The Filipino fisherman, known only as "Sailor_16" on Facebook, was ousted by his own publicly posted photo by an outraged fellow Filipino, Jumax Amellabon. According to Ivy Jean Vibar, of, the image so incensed "Filipino netizens," that the image went viral and Sailor_16, has since been forced to defend himself from the "violent reactions" of animal lovers.
The man went on to declare that the dolphin had been released, but Vibar's news report said the mammal would most likely die anyway. Citing Sedricke Lapuz, an Assistant Professor from the University of the Philippines Manila Department of Biology, Lapuz said:
"If the hook pierced the dolphin's body, it may not survive even when returned to the sea. The puncture wounds may lead to blood loss and infection."
But for Amellabon's vigilance in exposing the image, Sailor_16 would have been left to gloat in silence, and the world might never have known of the incredibly cruel act, which is also unlawful in Philippine waters. The revelation immediately prompted the question what else might we not know about?
It didn't require a great deal of searching to unearth this conversation at Sport, where user 'bisquit' innocently asks if anybody has ever hooked a dolphin?
Jemche responded that while he had never personally hooked one, a dolphin did hold onto his dad's bait for about 10 minutes. He then describes the mammals as "very smart animals."
Babalaza adds that he has had them "circling the boat and in between the spread, but never hooked one." Still he says, when he hunts tuna, "every time there's dolphins hanging around I troll in between them." He then throws in a smiley face for extra emphasis.
Backman blatantly tells the fellow that he should "come up north" if he wants to hook one. Mentioning Pacific white-sided dolphin, he tells of a young man who "tail wrapped a dolphin" which he muscled to the boat. It was an "ugly situation" he said, "with it wrapped and cut by mutiple loops of braid. We tail roped it, cut as much as we could and released it before it drowned."
But wait, it gets much worse.
Waynofish, said that dolphins just don't like him. "In FL years ago" he said, he:
"had one grab a live bait. In C.R. lassoed 2 by the tail---at least they were on 130's. snag another in the drsal in C.R. another year. Another time got one in the mouth on a dink rig."
Seapower then cautiously advises the group:
"Be careful with what you say, NMFS will have you install a "Black Box" on your c/c and outlaw fishing with hooks. Feed and release only. Better to say that "when we see even one Porpose (dolphin) we take up and steam at least 25 miles away before putting lines back out."
But Foul Hooked wasn't listening. He described his experiences a few years back, when he:
"Was fishing in Hawaii off of the Waianae harbor when we had two come into the spread and both get hooked. They were a mess and after getting everything cleaned up and lines cut, we hooked another one???? We ran up to the point to get away from them and sure enough another one was hooked. Now granted, they were not the bottle nose type that we get around here, but damn they were a pain and dumb. I think the skipper said that they were spinners."
Squidnation describes hooking a dolphin as the ultimate high:
"We had a triple up this weekend but none got hooked but all 3 got sancochoed. I know of one captain that has released a dolphin and a pilot whale unharmed this year already. Another captain in CR told me if you ever hook one you never want to fight another fish. Said it was the best fight of his life. Very smart animal."
Perhaps NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service), should conduct a little trawling of their own, considering dolphins are protected in the US as well?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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