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Ocean Expo divers save dolphins tangled in net

Date Posted: 2004-04-01

Four dolphins swimming the waters off Yomitan Village are alive and well today, thanks to rescue efforts by the Okinawa Expo Park and a fisherman’s cooperative.

The dolphins got lost in a fixed share net some three kilometers off shore from Yomitan village. They were rescued by divers from Okinawa Expo Park and the fisherman’s cooperative at Yomitan Village. The dolphins were transported by truck to a lagoon of at Okinawa Expo Park. According to the park management foundation, all dolphins are safe.

The dolphins--all females--were found on Saturday. The biggest one measures 4.1 meters long and weighs 500~600 kg. According to the fisherman’s cooperative in Yomitan, “we saw this case with sharks or whales, but this is the first time to see it happen with dolphins”.

The emergency rescue operation took about 30 people. They put stretchers under the dolphins stomachs, and then lifted them up by crane from the fixed shore net. They were then taken by trucks to the lagoon.

Okinawa Expo Park is waiting for instructions from the national fishery agency about whether the Park will care for the dolphins at its Churaumi Aquarium, or place them back in the ocean.

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