Our Living Seas

Oceanic Dolphins


The large oceanic dolphin is actually a small toothed whale.  They can swim up to 21miles/hr and can live to over 30 years.  Underwater encounters with wild dolphins are rare but not so much as in the Socorro Islands.  They are very inquisitive, and will come to within few feet of the diver.  Dolphins have only a few natural predators such as large sharks, but it is humans that are the most dangerous.  There are places, such as Taiji, Japan, that dolphins are slaughtered by the thousands.  Threats to dolphins include entanglement in all types of fishing nets (drift, trawling, and gill nets).  Pollution, disease, habitat destruction, sonar sounds and illegal killing, all contribute to dolphin’s lives.  There are many local and international laws, conservation organizations and societal pressures that protect our angels of the sea.