Believed to have evolved more than 10 million years ago — dolphins – the aquatic mammals are declared ‘2007 the Year of the Dolphin’ by the UN Convention on Migratory Species.
The human-friendly carnivores mammal, feeding mainly on fish and squid are under major threats from their entanglement in fishing nets, marine pollution, prey depletion and hunting.
To prevent the marine mammal from extinction, scientists have developed an artificial technique of insemination and also ways to freeze and transport sperms for the dolphins in captivity.
Dolphins are considered to be of great use for military purposes, which range from finding undersea mines to rescuing trapped divers! The mammal has 40 species varying in size — from 1.2 metres (4 ft) to 9.5 metres (30 ft) — and weighing from 40 kg to 10 tonnes!
To protect the human-friendly mammals, a campaign involving non-governmental organizations and the private sector has been undertaken by the Prince Albert II of Monaco.
‘The Year of the Dolphin’ will be UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development’s part.