In December 2011, Seymour, a juvenile dolphin in near Marco Island, Florida was reported with fishing line entangled around his peduncle.
The line was wrapped tightly and appeared to be cutting deeply just in front of the tail.
After consulting with local researchers and dolphin experts, the National Marine Fisheries Service decided an intervention was necessary. The team, led by NMFS, consisted of several different organizations including personnel from the SDRP.
On 9 March 2012, after a long day of searching, Seymour was temporarily captured and the line was removed. The veterinarians on scene decided the best course of action was to release Seymour and let him recover in the wild. In order to keep track of Seymour, a satellite-linked tag was attached to his dorsal fin.
Through satellite-linked tracking and local observations, Seymour was tracked daily through 31 May, a total of 84 days with 328 “good” quality locations. Dive data were also recorded, with almost 57,000 dives documented.
The location and dive data were consistent with what would be expected from a normal inshore bottlenose dolphin. His range was shown to be slightly larger than local researchers had realized, although most of his time was spent in or near the waterways of Marco Island.
At the time of last transmission, Seymour seemed to be well on the road to recovery. He was seen later in the summer, and the tag had come off his fin, as planned. We all hope he will live a long life and stay away from fishing line in the future.
This article was published on page 28 in the January 2013 Nicks n Notches.
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