1. In 1946, 14 countries signed the International Whaling Convention for the regulation of whaling, forming the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The purpose of the IWC is to protect the future of whale stocks as a resource.
2. Members of the IWC are requested to report direct and indirect catches of small cetaceans, including bottlenose dolphins, as part of their National Progress Reports on Cetacean Research. For the most part, however, these catches go largely unreported (Klinowska, 1991).
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)/ Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cetacean Specialist Group Action Plan contains several projects related to bottlenose dolphin conservation, including studies of accidental entanglements (Klinowska, 1991).
1. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 made it illegal to hunt or harass any marine mammal in U.S. waters.
a. The MMPA does allow for certain exceptions: native subsistence hunting; collecting or temporarily restraining marine mammals for research, education, and public display; and taking restricted numbers of marine mammals incidentally in the course of fishing operations.
b. The primary objective of the MMPA is to maintain the health and stability of the marine ecosystem and to obtain and maintain an optimum sustainable population of marine mammals.
c. According to the MMPA, all whales and dolphins in U.S. waters are under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty developed in 1973 to regulate trade in certain wildlife species. CITES protects all species of toothed whales. Bottlenose dolphins are listed on CITES Appendix II. Any trade concerning this species is strictly controlled (Kiinowska, 1991).
1. Most people do not have the opportunity to observe bottlenose dolphins in the wild. The unique opportunity to observe and learn directly from live animals increases public awareness and appreciation of wildlife.
2. In the protected environment of a marine zoological park, scientists can examine aspects of dolphin biology that are difficult or impossible to study in the wild.
Books for Young Readers
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database
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