Dolphins in Patagonia

Topics: Marine biology, Ocean, Coral reef Pages: 16 (5706 words) Published: September 25, 2013


In the film that was shown to us by our Biology teacher, Miss Fairuz Adlidna, there were two different ecosystems that were being displayed, a marine one and a tigers’ habitat for the other. Based on my observation, I have decided to make a film review on the marine ecosystem. Through a documentary that was based in the United Kingdom, “INSIDE LIFE”, a young boy called Sam Wigfield was offered the opportunity to be a part of the shooting crew. His job was to actually help a dolphin researcher, Mark on identifying the location of dolphins in the Welsh oceans. Only then can the camera crew work on capturing great shots of the dolphins up close to be inserted and edited in their latest documentary on dolphins. But alas, Sam was unfortunate as his first try did not turn out well. Even though the duo had shifted their positions from being on a sailboat to try to spot the dolphins from high lands, it was still quite a frustration for Sam as they found nothing. According to Mark, that day was practically unlucky as the seas were choppy and rough when dolphin-searching actually requires a sunny day with calm and flat waters as so to not confuse the dolphins with the rough waves of the waters. Honestly, this shows that the number of dolphins are rapidly decreasing over time because it is quite impossible to not spot at least one dolphin if they were in big numbers. How is that possible to be known by humans? With the latest research and developments, scientists came up with the quadrat sampling and capture-recapture methods. However, based on my understandings, I believe that the capture-recapture method is the best way for scientists to determine the overall population of an organism or dolphins in this case that inhibits a particular ecosystem. This is because as dolphins are mobile creatures, the quadrat sampling technique would be inappropriate. The capture-recapture method is done by capturing some member of the dolphin population by traps and any ecologists or marine biologists will mark the animals with distinctive features like tags or colourful dye that are waterproof before releasing them back to their habitat. The number of dolphins caught and marked will be recorded to enable calculation and comparison with the number of marked dolphins recaptured after a certain period of time to assume the approximate figures of dolphins that existed in the ecosystem. In addition, I believed that perhaps the other reason why Sam Wigfield could not manage to discover any dolphins was because of, through the findings that I’ve made through the Internet, I have managed to find an interesting paper entitled “Risso’s Dolphin Conservation Plan for waters west of the UK” by two principal authors, Jo Wharam and Mak Simmonds of the WDCS, Whales and Dolphins Conservation Society in the United Kingdom. There were many factors that contribute to the decline of the dolphins. Based on that paper, I found out that apart of the dolphins’ natural factors like diet, reproductive problems and disease, anthropogenic threats have been identified on a local level of the Wales that include disturbance, pollution from various sources such as sewage and oil industries and depletion of food sources. Anthropogenic is defined as of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature. Recreational crafts that has been increasing in the Welsh water also holds the potential of causing dolphins being entangled in fishing gear, acoustic disturbance to cetaceans and physical damage of the cetaceans through collisions with vessels or propellers. All of these may result in cetaceans being displaced from favoured areas, thus disabling Sam and Mark to find their dolphins. Back to our film review, when everything seemed to be going down the drain in the Wales, Mark surprised Sam with a trip to Golfo Nuevo in Patagonia. This means that Sam would be flying all the way to Argentina in order to continue his...
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