Created by Julia Holz
Dolphin Hope is a program that protects dolphins in the Atlantic. Some dolphin populations are in danger due to becoming tangled in fishing nets, pollution, diseases, and global warming. We research dolphins and find solutions to the problems that their populations are facing. Dolphins have been giving hope to sailors for years, and now we are trying to give them hope for a brighter future. Dolphin Hope creates protests and organizes programs to help dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean. The creator of Dolphin hope, Sophie wants to help these beautiful creatures thrive and survive in the changing oceans.
Sophie is enthusiastic, optimistic, and persistent. Sophie describes her personality as having three sides, “... one side is dreamy and romantic; one is logical and down to earth, and the third side is hardheaded and impulsive.” Sophie’s stubborn side comes out when she is determined to go on the voyage in The Wanderer; Her dreamy side comes out when she thinks about the past, and her logical side comes out when she is focusing on the present. Sophie has always been drawn to the sea, despite a tragic boating accident in her childhood. She was adopted by a family near the Ohio River after the accident. When she was thirteen she sailed from the United States to England with her two cousins and three uncles to visit her grandfather.The voyage was difficult which allowed her to explore her past and herself. On her voyage she was fascinated by the marine life in the Atlantic Oceans, especially the dolphins. This is what inspired Sophie to create the Dolphin Hope program.
Dolphins were often caught accidentally in tuna fishing nets, but deaths of dolphins due to fishing have declined. Over the course of fifty years, about 7 million dolphins were caught and killed as bycatch. However, populations are still only 20-30% of their pre fishing population. The dolphin populations are not recovering as predicted due to ocean pollution and other issues. When dolphins are accidentally caught and then released it often causes them stress and separates them from their pod. When dolphins are stressed or ill they often beach themselves. Dolphins are on the road to recovery, but there is still more work to be done.
While on her voyage to England in The Wanderer dolphins gave Sophie hope when the voyage was getting tough. Sophie was always happy to see the dolphins, and they seemed like a good omen to her. When Sophie saw the dolphins she thought, “I love to see the dolphins, I feel as if they are messengers. For me." (139) Sophie loves seeing the dolphins because they are lighthearted and playful, which makes them fun to watch. Sophie feels like they are messengers bringing happiness to the dreary boat. The dolphins help her feel like The Wanderer is not alone in the ocean. This makes her feel less lonely.
Seeing dolphins inspired conflicting emotions in Sophie on the boat. “And that’s exactly the feeling I had, that they instinctively trusted us, and really, it made me want to cry. It should have made me want to laugh, because it was as if they were inviting us to join them, be a part of their play. They seemed so overwhelmingly happy: playing, investigating, gliding and leaping and rolling. I don’t know why it made me want to cry. I just kept thinking that there they were and here I was. They didn’t have any burdens and they wanted to be with us, but I was way up on deck and I felt as if I weighed a ton.” Sophie loved to watch the dolphins play, but she felt kind of melancholy watching them. She saw the freedom and joy of the dolphins, but it just made her feel left out. Sophie wanted to join the carefree play of the dolphins, but she was stuck on the boat. The dolphins inspired Sophie, but also reminded her of the barrier between her and the sea. Sophie loves the dolphins, but is also jealous of their freedom they have.
Sophie loves the dolphins and is always interested in them. Cody noticed how fascinated she was by them. “Every time dolphins or whales come and play by the boat, Sophie is up there watching. She can’t take her eyes off them, and then she starts wondering where they came from and where they’re going and why they’re here and if they are part of a family, if they’re all related.” Sophie is curious about everything, and always enthusiastic, but she especially loves dolphins. Sophie loves dolphins because of their playful ways.
Dolphin Hope plans to get dolphin populations back to healthy levels in the Atlantic. We would also like to make sure that everyone is informed about the dangers dolphins are facing. This program aims to make sure everyone gets the chance to experience dolphin, and that they do not disappear from earth. We cannot do this without your help. To get involved contact the Dolphin Hope project to volunteer. You can also boycott tuna or buy only dolphin safe tuna. You can use Seafood Watch to make sure you are picking seafoods that are safe for the environment. You can reduce waste and use less toxic chemicals to prevent ocean pollution that affects dolphins. Get involved with Dolphin Hope today to help save the dolphins in the Atlantic!