The latest news for the hunting and fishing community is a whole lot of fun, with a bit of the Spielberg sci-fi thrown in for good measure. It seems that ‘Flipper’ is doing his very best to help fishermen out by bringing their catch straight to their door. (Well…boat, actually. Even ‘Flipper’ isn’t that good!)
Seems that down in Brazil, there is a group of bottlenose dolphins who have decided to join ranks with the fishermen. In fact, with no training whatsoever, they are currently rounding up the fish and then alerting the local Brazilian fishermen by sending them signals as to exactly when and where their nets should be thrown.
Now, we all know that the dolphin is one smart little guy, but the fact that they also have this much intelligence when it comes to the world of social skills is surprising everyone at the moment. Yes, they always have that happy smile on their face, but actually cooperating with humans is something that has not been seen before.
It’s very true that these new and unique bottlenose dolphins living in Laguna, which is situated in southern Brazil, have somehow found a way to work as their own ‘fishermen team,’ which creates a huge success for the actual human fishermen who are constantly increasing their catch each and every day. And these are wild dolphins, mind you, not the kind that have been trained in water parks to do their tricks in order to get some free fish.
What occurs is that together, as a group, these dolphins are driving mullet schools toward the line of waiting fishermen and then – through a series of head or tail slaps on the water – are signaling the men to throw their nets so they can head home with huge numbers at the end of the day.
Now, are they only doing this to be nice? Well, no. But then again, this IS the 21st Century and you can’t get something for nothing, folks, so don’t be too upset with them. You see, the fish that actually escape the nets are swimming directly into the dolphins waiting mouths which means the ‘smart’ dolphin who has helped the human also gets HIS own rewards and never goes away hungry.
Working over a two-year period, there is a group down in Brazil that has conducted boat surveys and spent their time collecting photo identification data and other information on these particular dolphins in order to get to know them even better. The ones that teamed up with the humans were rated as “cooperative” dolphins, while their more bored counterparts who kept their allegiance to the sea were put in a class titled, “non-cooperative.” To me, that’s probably harsh. After all, the uncooperative group probably looked at their younger siblings and figured if they wanted to do all the work – let ‘em! After all, even dolphins have a democracy.
The “cooperative” dolphins who do all the work actually proved to humans that they have their own social network (without the help of Facebook or Twitter). They actually spend a great deal of time hanging out together and act as if they have their very own colony within the larger population of the bottlenose dolphins that are swimming all around them. Think of these guys as a core unit, like the front lines on a battlefield or the offensive line that has to work together or they’ll be crushed (They could have probably helped the 49ers in their quest for the Super Bowl ring this year.)
It’s also been stated that these dolphins could have learned all of this cooperation from the humans, themselves. You see in Brazil, fishermen learn their trade from the ones who came before them. In other words, there is a group of elders that teach the younger what to do when it comes to being fishermen and how to do it well – much like the bottlenose dolphins are doing with each other.
See that? Nature and man can work together. Now all we have to do is put some of these dolphins in Congress and this country will be smooth sailing until the end of time! (They can even outsmart sharks, so they are good to go!)