Last week Peter Young, chairman of the state’s Department of Land
and Natural Resources, announced that his office supports the federal
government giving “enhanced protection” to spinner dolphins in Hawaiian
waters. “We are confident there are management solutions that will
allow for enjoyable, educational, economically viable and culturally
appropriate dolphin watching activities in Hawai`i,” Young said in an
Oct. 13 press release.
To learn more about how new protection rules will affect our plucky
spinner dolphins, I recently spoke by phone to Lord Smiley, master of
Pod 8739-J-18, which lives just off the coast of Lanai:
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: Hello? Lord Smiley? Are you there?
LORD SMILEY: Yup, I’m here.
Thanks a lot of talking to us about this.
So I assume you’ve looked over Young’s statement. What do you make of it?
Unmitigated bullshit, pure and simple.
What? Young seems to be on your
side, saying things like it’s not good for people to swim with dolphins
under any circumstances. Right here in the release he says, and I
quote, “Scientific evidence and basic common sense tell us that
dolphins are often disturbed when swimmers place themselves in close
proximity to resting dolphins, and therefore we support any reasonable
effort to prevent such disturbance.”
Oh, that’s not the problem. Young’s absolutely right that it’s wrong
for people to swim near us. It causes social disruption, caloric energy
loss and habituation to humans. Also, I don’t know that you realize
this since you’re a human, but you guys always stink of suntan lotion.
Spinner dolphins hate that. Anyway, my problem with Young’s call for
“enhanced protection” is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
Young, the DLNR and, I suspect, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration—which has jurisdiction over all us non-endangered marine
animals—are all interested in keeping humans out of the water around
dolphins. But we want you guys off the land, too.
Excuse me? Off the land? But you guys only live in the water—what difference does it make whether we’re on land-
We only live in the water now. Who’s to say where evolution will
take us in a million years. No, you guys need to clear out now, so your
cities and towns have time to crumble back into the Earth. Last thing
we want to do is grow feet and walk on shore, only to find a bunch of
buildings and highways full of people who smell like suntan lotion.
This is amazing—in fact, it’s eerily similar to a Simpson’s Halloween episode I remember once-
The one where the dolphins come on land and start murdering all the people in Springfield? We LOVE that episode.
Best Simpson’s episode ever. We would watch that episode every single day if we could. They really nailed it that time.
Wow, I had no-
Kidding! We’re dolphins, man! We’d never hurt you. Damn, you humans
need to get a sense of humor. No, anyway we’re all cool with the new
protection rules. Bring ‘em on, I say.
Boy, that’s a relief. For a moment there I thought you were advocating-
A dolphin-human war? No way. We’re years away from that. MTW