Common Dolphin at Risk According to New Flinders University Study

Common Dolphin
Photo credit: CC-BY/blachswan/Flickr

A study conducted by researchers at Flinders University has revealed that the common dolphin, which populates the waters of Clovelly and other suburbs by the Pacific Ocean, is at risk. 



Though the population of the common dolphin remains high, it has the potential to decline given recent trends in their behavior. According to the research performed by researchers from Flinders University, this potential decline has been attributed to the dolphins’ frequent interactions with fisheries, which could often prove fatal to them fishermen and fishing equipment have the potential to cause them great, if not mortal harm. 

These dolphins, which are illegal to hunt as per the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, likely accidentally injured themselves on fishing lines and nets or by getting too close to large fishing boats. 

Common dolphins play an important role in marine ecosystems, acting as ecology indicators due to their status as top-level predators. If numerous dolphins are found sick, diseased, or injured then it is likely that certain issues need to be addressed — whether its water pollution, overfishing, or industrial or residential runoff.

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Researchers at Flinders University have given new guidelines to fisheries after concluding their study, which spanned over 1500 sq km stretching from the southern and east coast of Australia to Tasmania and New Zealand. Fisheries are warned to minimise their interactions with dolphins in the future, and these guidelines are also expected to assist with the conservation of marine ecosystems.