On March 1, 2016, we received a report of a dolphin that was entangled in a crab trap line off Nokomis Beach. We went to the dolphin’s last reported location from the night before, and found 10-year-old resident dolphin “Bill” with just his blowhole above the water. His tail was wrapped in the float line of a crab trap, and was weighed down by the trap to the point of being unable to move, and barely able to keep his head above water. We used a boathook to grab a bit of line floating next to Bill and pulled up line until we got to the entanglement.
We were able to remove the line without cutting it. Bill was tail-kicking during this time and appeared to have full motion of his fluke. There were some lacerations where the line had wrapped, but they did not go very deep. Now fully disentangled, we released Bill and watched him swim away. He hasn’t been seen since August 4, 2020, near the time when we lost several resident dolphins to unknown causes. We are hopeful he is okay, and just being extra evasive this year.
Dolphin Biology Research Institute — DBA as the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program — is dedicated to research and conservation of dolphins and their habitat. View our profile at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County Giving Partner portal.
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