Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons' - Times Online

photo from Dolphin Research Institute

Excerpt from the article by Times Online
"Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

"Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence."

"The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year."

As you might guess this article has pricked up the ears of more than a few folk. Do animals have to be intelligent to warrant our attention? Does being 'smart' provide a protection/shield for our flippered friends? Does intelligence define what needs to be conserved?

Whatever your opinion on dolphins it is important to remember that as long as we are committed to finding and using sustainable solutions for healthy oceans then we are protecting the environment that we both need in order to exist.

If you want to know more about dolphins you might like to contact the following marine education organisations in Australia:
Dolphin Discovery (Western Australia) Adopt a dolphin
Dolphin Research Institute (Victoria) Adopt a dolphin

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