National Geographic : 1992 Sep
the dolphins' scarcity, they speculated, or the decline of squid, food for dolphins. The fishermen of Futo are no different from many others. They are men trying to wrest a living from the sea, and they are being bat tered by forces beyond their control or under standing. Flip and I frequently found dolphins regarded as just another kind of fish. The sta tistics are appalling-so many thousands drowned in this kind of gear, so many hun dreds harpooned in that fishery-but on the commercial level there are few pangs of con science; nearly every human society has grown used to killing fish. THE TROUBLE IS, dolphins are not fish at all. They are mammals, smaller rela tives of the great whales. And some dol phins are among the most intelligent animals on the planet, in the respected company of chimpanzees and elephants. Their memory capacity matches our own; they D Indo-Pacific and Atlantic hump-backed dolphins Sousachinensis and Sousa teuszii These coastal dolphins fall prey to gill nets and are threatened by pollution.