photo by Kerstin WellekötterAs I’m heading for the Greek islands this week I hope I shall encounter those most intelligent of sea creatures while cooling my soon to be frying skin in clear azure waters. I’m referring, of course, to dolphins.

Yes, dolphins – those playful cetaceans we routinely catch inadvertently in our nets when fishing for tuna and on purpose when fishing for dolphins to populate our aquatic parks. We do this despite many scientists’ belief that dolphins and other cetaceans should be afforded ‘human rights’.

I probably will not meet any porpoises, whales or any of their cousins since I’ll be going to places with deeper, less nutrient-rich waters. Still, one can dream.

This columnist from the Independent went to the right part of Greece:

Perhaps the best of all was in the Sporades, those northerly Greek islands which include Skopelos where they filmed Mamma Mia! We had sailed out from Alonissos on a tourist sailing boat, a kaiki, and near the remote island of Kyra Panagia, when the sea was absolutely still, flat as a mirror it was, a pod of common dolphins suddenly burst out of the surface and for five minutes played around the boat, enthralling every soul on board. They were doing it for fun, just for the hell of it, which made it all the more captivating.

If you can understand what the author is on about and are interested in the habits of the dolphin population in Tampa Bay, Florida, check out this piece in TBN Weekly. Personally, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Finally, a bit of sad news concerning two lone dolphin deaths: one in Malta and the other in Staten Island, New York. That’s right, a dolphin dies and it gets its own write up in the local papers. I don’t anticipate that happening to me when I finally shake off this mortal coil.

The dead dolphin in Staten Island will be autopsied to check for any human causes resulting in its demise, while the article on the Maltese dolphin highlights how fishing, pollution and other human activities routinely kill dolphins, especially during the summer. What a way to treat our aquatic cousins.