Why Are Dolphins Hunted And Killed?

Over the years various members of the dolphin species have been hunted and killed in order to lower competition with fisherman, be used as crab bait and be sold as food at restaurants and supermarkets.

They have also been killed due to excessive pollution, the construction of dams and accidental catches in fishing nets.

Although the act of hunting and killing dolphins is considered illegal throughout most of the world there are still places that are known to hunt and kill these marine mammals for various reasons.

To bring more clarity to this topic we have compiled some of the most common reasons why dolphins are killed and will explore these reasons in more detail below.


In certain areas and coastal waters fishermen find themselves competing with dolphins for fish and other small aquatic species.

Sometimes dolphins pose a threat to the fisheries that rely on selling fish for a profit.

In these cases dolphins may end up consuming large quantities of fish which can lower the fisherman’s capture rate and sometimes dolphins end up interfering with fishing nets and other fishing equipment.

To eliminate the competition these fisheries end up killing the dolphins that interfere with their fishing operations in order to try to maintain their supply of fish.


In addition to eliminating competition for fish dolphins are also sometimes used as bait.

In some cases fisherman have been known to hunt and kill dolphins in order to use them as crab bait.

Not only does it help eliminate competition, it also provides them with a way to lure crabs in so that they can sell the crabs for a profit.


As with whales dolphins have also been sold as a form of meat that can be purchased at meat markets, supermarkets and restaurants in certain countries.

Dolphin meat has even been found being sold in cans of tuna.


Although dolphins are known to be killed by fisherman in certain countries in many cases the cause of dolphin deaths is actually accidental.

Accidental deaths can occur when a dolphin collides with a ship or when a dolphin looking for an easy meal accidentally runs into a fishing net that was intended for fish.


The construction of dams, waterways, harbors, bridges, fences and other forms of construction have led to the death of many dolphins both during the construction phase when loud, powerful equipment is being used and moved around, and after it is completed because of the alterations of the waterways that are created by the placement of these massive objects.

In fact dams, fences and other obstructions have caused fragmentation among various dolphin populations by preventing them from traveling and in some cases has also cut off their food supply.


Lastly pollution can have a large effect on the survivability of certain dolphins.

This is especially true for dolphins that live in and around coastal waters where landfill, oil and other pollutants can come into close contact with them and cause them to either become poisoned or accidentally ingest potential life threatening materials.

As you can see there are a number of reasons why dolphins are hunted and killed.

The easiest way to help dolphins is to be conscious of your recycling habits and ensure that the food you’re eating has been captured by fisheries that do not support or condone the act of hunting dolphins or using their meat as a form of bait.

You can also research a number of dolphin protection agencies by doing a search online and following their advice on ways to protect dolphins and other cetaceans from potential harm.