20 April 2019

Dolphins following a beam trawler

In the waters off Veneto, Italy, bottlenose dolphins routinely follow midwater pair trawlers and otter trawlers. None of approximately 60 beam trawlers inspected by us had dolphins in their wake. We thought dolphins did not follow boats using this gear. However, this week we found dolphins feeding in the wake of a beam trawler, an unexpected new behaviour.

For more about dolphins changing their behaviour to adapt to human impact, stay tuned for an upcoming publication:
Bearzi G., Piwetz S., Reeves R.R. 2019. Odontocete adaptations to human impact, and vice-versa. In B. W├╝rsig, ed. Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Toothed Whales and Dolphins, the Odontocetes. Chapter 11. Springer, Heidelberg (in press).

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Northern Adriatic Sea)

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