A dolphin trapped in fishing nets off Kalymnos island in the Dodekanese was rescued by local fishermen on Friday morning.
The rescue was filmed by the boat’s crew who carefully returned the beautiful marine mammal to the sea, and the footage soon went viral.
Dolphin rescue caught on footage
The incident took place at around 8 am on Friday morning, June 2, in the marine area between the islands of Kalymnos and Serifos.
Captain Stathis Georgoulis from Kalymnos was out in the open sea with his fishing boat Georgios Georgoulis, when the crew noticed the dolphin trapped in their fishing nets.
They quickly set the frightened animal free, cutting the nets that it was trapped in, before releasing it back into the sea.
The fishermen were expressing their admiration to the beauty of the dolphin as they caressed the frightened animal to calm it down during the rescue operation. A member of crew is heard urging his colleagues in agony to not delay its release, fearful that the dolphin might die out of the water.
The Captain of the boat told local news website Kalymnos-News that, after its release, the dolphin stayed in the proximity, circling and jumping around the vessel, showing its gratuitude to its rescuers in its own adorable way.
Dolphins under threat by large fishing vessels
According to the WWF, the Greek seas are home to four species of dolphins: the striped dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin, the Risso’s dolphin and the short-beaked common dolphin.
Sadly, all of these species are threatened by accidental entrapment during fishing activities, as well as by intentional killing. Contamination by synthetic chemical compounds, ecosystem degradation and solid waste ingestion also pose threats to dolphin species in Greece.
Theodoros Tsimpidis, Head of the Marine Conservation Institute Archipelagos, on Saturday told Greek public broadcaster ERT that an increasing number of dolphins are found dead in the Greek seas. He spoke of dozens of dead dolphins recorded by his team, four of which were found the previous week alone.
Tsimpidis attributes the problem to the fleet of large fishing vessels operated by Turkish fisherment close to the Greek shores, particularly in the area between the islands of Chios and Ikaria.
Such vessels, designed for sailing in big seas like the Atlantic Ocean, have been acquired for the fishing of tuna in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is also illegal. Dolphins are trapped in those vessels’ huge nets and killed together with massive quantities of fish, Tsimpidis explains.
Archipelagos believes that the issue can be addressed by holding responsible specific vessels and fishermen, known by the Institute’s experts for their destructive fishing methods.