At least six dolphins have been brutally murdered along the Gulf Coast in recent months – shot, stabbed, body parts hacked off. Local authorities are encouraging people to call in, anonymously if necessary, if they have any leads.
Why is this happening? What’s going on? Is it the work of some crazy person? Or something even more sinister?
On HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell Show last night, dolphin advocate Ric O’Barry said he thinks he knows.
“We’ve seen this in other parts of the world,” O’Barry said. “We’re working on a similar problem in Indonesia.”
And, of course, at the infamous Taiji cove in Japan, scene of the regular massacres that were the subject of the Oscar-winning movie The Cove.
“We’re approaching this as a crime story,” Velez-Mitchell said. “Who would have the motive?”
“The dolphins are competition,” O’Barry explained. “The real problem is overfishing. So what you saw in Mississippi, it could be angry fishermen. Overfishing is the problem. We have to stop eating seafood.”
Ocean life on the U.S. side of the Gulf took a terrible hit after the BP oil rig blew up last year, and is still trying to recover.
“The fishermen in these towns see dolphins as competition, so they kill the competition.”
“The fishermen in these towns see dolphins as competition, and kill the competition,” O’Barry said. “Each dolphin can eat 30, maybe 50 pounds of small fish each day. In the case of pilot whales, up to 100 pounds a day. That could be the problem. We see that all over the world.”
O’Barry was calling in to the show from the Straits of Gibraltar, where he said he was standing waist deep in the Mediterranean, helping to rescue a dolphin who had become separated from his family and hopefully reunite him with his mother.
Anyone with any information about the dolphin murders in the Gulf should call the NOAA hotline at 1-800-853-1964. O’Barry is offering up to $5,000 in rewards to anyone giving information leading to a conviction of the killer or killers.
Here’s the full interview: