Dolphins are unique. Out of all the animals we share this world with, they are one of the few to display nearly-human levels of intelligence, understanding, and curiosity. Over the last few decades, researchers have studied everything from their brainwaves to how they build their communities, and the results of those studies tell us that dolphins are both sentient and sapient, meaning they are both self-aware and able to connect their past actions with future results. Just like us, dolphins live in complex social structures, exhibit incredibly nuanced and pre-planned behaviors, have unique vocalizations to tell each other apart, use tools to protect themselves or make tasks more efficient, and even have separate and distinctive cultures. With this information alone, it’s clearly imperative to not only ensure their survival, but actively establish ways for them to thrive.
While dolphins occasionally have to defend themselves against predatory sharks, the real danger they face is at our hands. Studies show that approximately 95% of dolphin deaths are directly attributed to human actions. A quick search on Google or YouTube provides overwhelming examples of how our expansionist, unsustainable society is slowly driving them to extinction.
Dolphins are apex predators, meaning their diet consists mainly of fish and other small marine life. While they are less likely to consume bits of plastic and other garbage than their prey, they are still poisoned by the millions of tons of lethal mining and industrial byproducts being syphoned into our waterways every day. The entire food chain is affected, so even dolphins who inhabit clean, uncontaminated water can still become very sick, or even die, from eating creatures who were previously exposed. Many that do live in contaminated bodies of water and suffer chronic chemical burns, blindness, sterility, and birth defects. Sometimes, the levels of toxic waste are so extreme that their habitat is destroyed and their entire species becomes extinct.
Dolphins are also incredibly strong, but they don’t stand a chance against miles and miles of man-made fishing line. Over 300,000 dolphins are estimated to drown every year from entanglement, a number which is only ever climbing. When dolphins unknowingly enter fishing zones, they can get caught in the heavy netting with no way to untangle themselves to reach the surface. Sometimes, they are able to break free but remain knotted up in foreign material which can cut into them, cause dangerous injuries, or wrap around their beaks and prevent them from feeding. Dolphins actually show a heartbreaking comprehension of their circumstances, as many will actively seek out humans when they are trapped in this way. There are countless records of dolphins approaching swimmers, divers, ships, and docks, in a wordless cry for help. While most of us would do everything in our power to cut away the lines and save these individual lives, it’s a losing battle without systematic environmental reform.
As though this wasn’t enough, dolphins also have to contend with a variety of other manufactured dangers such as sport hunting or captivation efforts, which can quickly turn deadly if the team is inexperienced or unprepared. In the case of bringing dolphins to zoos and other man-made environments, even if the transportation doesn’t kill them, dolphins frequently fall into a deep depression when they are ripped away from their families. There are numerous disturbing records of dolphins who seem to purposefully commit suicide by refusing food, leaping from enclosures to dry land, or even through repetitive trauma of ramming the walls of their tank.
This grim picture is why we at Suni are proud to be releasing our Dolphin token as the first official addition to the Suni Ecosystem. The most important aspect of conservation and reparation is sharing awareness, and this token was specifically created by our organization to shed light on the experiences of dolphins, worldwide. Whether you want to support established dolphin conservation programs or build your own project from scratch, Suni is here.
It is the burden of our generation to examine our current path and change our trajectory, before it is too late. We hope you will join us in accomplishing that goal, together.
Name: Dolphin Token