Editor, Daily Nexus,
In his opinion article “Navy Seals and Dolphins” (Daily Nexus, March 31, 2003), opinion editor Steven Ruszczycky both states explicitly and implies that the Navy trained dolphins come into physical contact with the mines that they are detecting.
He states that dolphins “sticking [their] noses on a deadly device” and “attach[ing] an electronic tag” are two of the duties of the dolphins.
In point of fact, the dolphins are trained to avoid physical contact with the mine itself. If they locate a mine, they are trained to place an electronic tag in the water in the vicinity of the mine, enabling Navy specialists to locate and destroy it. His choice of words at best misrepresents the magnitude of the danger inherent in the situation (most mines are magnetically activated, and the last time I checked, dolphins weren’t metallic) and at worst is irresponsible and inflammatory.
If you feel the need to worry about the wellbeing of a mammal, think of the humanitarian workers trying to bring supplies to the people of Iraq who might be killed by those mines if Flipper didn’t help out. In short, worry about real problems instead of looking to create one that doesn’t exist.