Commercial Fisherman Releases 30 Tonnes Of Mackerel To Save Dolphins Trapped In Nets

March 30, 2017

A commercial fisherman in New Zealand is being praised for his actions after he released an estimated 30 tonnes of jack mackerel to save six dolphins caught in his net.

fisherman rescues dolphins in fishing net
Photo credit: Greenpeace

"The crew were determined not to hurt the dolphins in any way if at all possible and they set about trying to free them by lowering the sides of the net," said Fiona MacMillan, general manager of fishing company Sanford Ltd.

"Unfortunately this did not encourage the dolphins to swim out, so the skipper faced a tough choice at that point. "He either took further steps to try and free the dolphins and risk losing the catch of 30 tonnes of jack mackerel, or he faced the prospect of killing the dolphins.

"He believed that his first priority was to try to save the dolphins, so he made the decision to release one at end of the net near the bow and that enabled all the dolphins to swim away, totally unharmed. In the process all the jack mackerel accidentally escaped too."

While 30 tonnes of fish is a potentially significant financial loss, Fiona said Sanford's focus was on sustainability.

"Sanford supports the skipper and believes he did the right thing in saving the dolphins and all the fish. Costs comes second in a situation like this."

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