World Dolphin Day Date in the current year: September 12, 2024

World Dolphin Day World Dolphin Day is celebrated annually on September 12. It was created to remind that the world’s dolphins need more protection and support Stop the Grind, a global coalition of organizations and individuals working to end the killing of dolphins and whales in the Faroe Islands.

Dolphins are aquatic mammals that belong to the infraorder Cetacea, alongside whales and porpoises. There are 40 extant dolphin species, most of which live in warm tropic waters, although some prefer cooler climates.

Since dolphins have few natural enemies (some species and specific populations even have none), all threats they face are caused by humans. These threats include dolphin drive hunting in places like the Faroe Islands, Japan, Peru, and the Solomon Islands, bycatch during fishing or shark culling, marine pollution, habitat destruction, and injuries and death due to boat collisions.

Environmentalists and animal rights advocates are especially concerned by whale and dolphin drive hunting in the Faroe Islands, which has been under increasing scrutiny over the past few decades. Although the hunt is regulated by local authorities, animal rights groups consider it a cruel and unnecessary practice.

World Dolphin Day was launched in 2022 by Sea Shepherd Global, an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that coordinates direct action campaigns to protect the world’s oceans from environmental destruction and illegal exploitation. Its date was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the largest single slaughter of dolphins in recorded history.

On September 12, 2021, an unprecedented white-sided dolphin hunt took place in the Faroe Islands: 1,428 dolphins were caught and slaughtered in a single day, including juveniles and pregnant females. This was nearly five times the average annual catch of white-sided dolphins in the Faroe Islands and almost double the previous recent record (in 2002, 773 dolphins were caught over the course of the entire hunt season).

World Dolphin Day was created in memory of the dolphins killed on September 12, 2021. According to Sea Shepherd Global, it is the first international day that is specifically dedicated to raising awareness of the need to protect dolphins around the world not just from hunting, but from being killed or injured as bycatch and held in captivity for entertainment.

One of the main goals of World Dolphin Day is to support Stop the Grind, an international coalition of conservation organizations and concerned individuals that was formed in the wake of the September 12 massacre. The ultimate goal of the coalition is put an end to the unnecessary and inhumane killing of dolphins and whales by putting pressure on multiple fronts: economical, political, and social.

There are many ways to get involved with World Dolphin Day. You can learn more about the dangers that dolphins face, join the Stop the Grind coalition, donate to a marine conservation organization of your choice, and spread the word on social media with the hashtags #WorldDolphinDay1428, #WorldDolphinDay, and #WDD1428.

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World Dolphin Day, international observances, environmental observances, Sea Shepherd Global, Stop the Grind