Concern for begging dolphins
Dolphins are being injured as they beg for food and even death by fisherman who feed them illegally in Cockburn Sound, according to researchers from Murdoch University.
In the decade-long study which was recently published in the London journal of Animal Conservation, researchers found the number of bottlenose dolphins which begged recreational fisherman for food increased from one to at least 14 - representing 20 per cent of the 75 adult dolphins which live in the popular Perth waterway.
Dolphins which swam up to boats in search of food were at much higher risk of being hit by a boat or becoming entangled in discarded fishing line, some of the animals are swimming around without fins after they were cut off by propellers and other dolphins with huge propeller scars across their backs. Calves simply wouldn't survive such injuries, however during the course of the study, dolphins were seen to be learning from each other to beg and evidence of a young calf learning to beg from her mother.
It is illegal to feed dolphins under state and federal law and offenders can be fined up to $10,000.