Part of the SDRP mission is to educate the pubic about how to protect dolphins.
Recreational fishermen are a prime target audience because they fish is the same waters where dolphins hunt their prey. And fishing gear can pose a threat to dolphins.
Dolphins that approach anglers run the risk of getting tangled in lines, hooked by fish-like lures, or swallowing hooks or lures with fish attached.
Dive deeper: Download a copy of Dolphin Friendly Fishing Tips
Grants have provided funds for public outreach to angling and boating groups, and to the fishing public.
What you can do
- Never feed wild dolphins – it’s harmful and illegal.
- Reuse or share leftover bait.
- Reel in your line if dolphins approach it.
- Change locations if dolphins show interest in your bait or catch.
- Release your catch quietly, away from dolphins.
- Check your gear and tackle: prevent breakage and lost gear.
- Use circle hooks and hooks that corrode.
- Stay at least 50 yards away from wild dolphins.
- Don’t discard your fishing line overboard. Recycle it instead.
- Stash your trash: wild dolphins might eat pieces of it.
All photos © Sarasota Dolphin Research Program under NMFS permit #522-1785