10 Nov How Does Pollution & Ocean Waste Affect Dolphins?

How Does Pollution & Ocean Waste Affect Dolphins?

We all know that pollution is harmful to our environment. Air pollution damages crops and trees and is associated with reductions in agricultural yields. Marine animals, such as dolphins, also feel the adverse effects of pollution, light pollution, soil pollution, and water pollution. Dolphins and pollution don’t mix, and many of the things that we do to contribute to pollution impact these magnificent creatures in numerous ways.
Blue Wave Adventures is committed to practicing good stewardship on our planet. We take recycling, protecting our world, and animal protection very seriously. And this is why we take an eco-friendly approach to our dolphin watches and tours. Not only do we want our guests to have a great time observing dolphins in their natural habitat, but we want to help educate our guests on the impacts that ocean waste has on dolphins too.

The Negative Impacts of Pollution & Ocean Waste on Dolphins

How Does Pollution Affect Dolphins?

Dolphins and their marine animal counterparts are often subject to oil spills, red tides, digestive system blockages by accidental consumption of plastic bags, entrapment from fishing gear left behind by anglers, and disorientation by confusion and unfamiliar underwater sounds. Let’s explore a few of those risks to dolphins below.

1. Plastic pollution is deadly for dolphins

We all use plastic bags or plastic wrap to store our leftover foods at home. After all, these items were developed and designed to bring convenience to our lives. But despite packaging that indicates that these items are recyclable, people worldwide still tend to throw these items into the trash after use. Unfortunately, dolphins eat plastic because they mistake it for common prey such as squid. This accidental consumption results in a blockage to their digestive system. And since a dolphin can’t just go to the doctor with a tummy ache, these blockages eventually lead to the dolphin’s demise.

2. Discarded fishing gear is dangerous for dolphins and their fellow marine animals

Another type of ocean waste is discarded fishing gear. Some anglers dump nets and other elements of their fishing equipment into the ocean when those items are no longer of use. And it’s a big problem as every year, more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals, and turtles are caught in an estimated 640,000 tons of discarded, lost, or abandoned fishing gear. Entanglement in fishing gear injures, maims, and inevitably kills these animals if they can’t get loose.

3. Fertilizer runoff results in red tides

A red tide is a harmful algal bloom containing toxins that dolphins breathe through the air or ingest through the fish they consume, which eat the algae. These toxins accumulate in the dolphin’s body; a process commonly referred to as bioaccumulation. And unfortunately, these red tide events often lead to hundreds of deaths in the local dolphin populations.

Blue Wave Adventures Seeks to Educate Guests on the Impacts of Ocean Waste on Dolphins

As we said before, Blue Wave Adventures takes dolphin safety seriously. All of our Myrtle Beach dolphin tours are eco-friendly and leave zero carbon footprint. When you are out on one of our tours, you’ll not only get to see dolphins, but we’ll teach you about ecotourism in Myrtle Beach. And, it’s not unusual for us to turn the boat around to pick up waste that we might see floating in the water. Our guests enjoy learning about these fantastic creatures and doing something good for the environment. And we can’t wait for you to share our passion with us, too, even if only for a dolphin tour in Myrtle Beach.