Blog (1)

the shocking reality for Spinner dolphins that the BBC failed to even mention

wild spinner dolphins

friendly familiar faces

Bringing beautiful images of the natural world to the public is extremely important. The public will protect what they love right? But what happens when in order to paint that pretty picture the crew has to present a distorted depiction of reality?


When the film crew totally ignore the real life issues facing the dolphins they are filming, knowing full well they have the means to initiate change simply by filming and exposing the truth. Or even…just mentioning it in their narrative. For the truth about the Spinner dolphins is anything but pretty.


The Pacific waters off Costa Rica’s coast, where the BBC brought us ‘never before filmed’ Spinner dolphin ‘super pod’ images- well that was base camp for the BeAs1 team. Those sleek gentle Spinner dolphin’s faces, were all too familiar to our small but dedicated crew.

We spent months based there (on a limited budget) not just


We were prepared to risk our lives to film the dolphins being routinely hunted down with helicopters, bombs and motor boats to catch the yellow fin tuna that swim beneath them. We were prepared to jump into the purse seine nets to film the trapped tuna and wounded Spinner dolphins fight for their lives. Where dolphin bodies are tossed carelessly overboard and tuna bodies are prized, tinned and given a shiny ‘dolphin friendly label’ .Then sent all around the world perhaps even to a supermarket near you.

spectacular spinning Spinners


When the BBC arrived in Drake Bay to film everyone knew they were in town. We also know the crew was fully aware of the tuna/dolphin issue, so we hoped fervently that with an entire fleet of boats, film crew, divers, state of the art cameras and countless days spent off shore filming the Spinners that they would at the very least take an interest in using their resources to assist even in a small way the dolphins that they had come so far to film. But instead, they showcased only the stunning images of a chance good day in the life of a Spinner dolphin whilst totally ignoring the reality and brushing aside the huge responsibility they had in their hands to really make a difference.

dolphins and tuna chased and netted, fighting for their lives

Look carefully in the first  episode and you will see some of the Spinner dolphins have damaged dorsal fins. That will be injuries from irresponsible tuna fishing methods by foreign fleets in Costa Rican waters. Every single year ‘eco-friendly’ Costa Rica turns a blind eye to a large dolphin kill quota set by the tuna corporations themselves. It all goes on unseen, reported and managed by a twisted and corrupt tuna commission. Sealed and stamped with a feel good but misleading dolphin friendly label. Nothing like a good BBC documentary to bring the world’s focus on this horrible fact, to support local initiatives and constructive campaigns for change. Or to pressure Costa Rica to save the sub species of Spinner dolphin that carries their own countries name. Right?


And what of the yellow fin tuna? Did you all notice that the ONLY yellow fin tuna present, was the BBC’s own spy-cam tuna? This is supposed to be one of the last critically important areas for the yellow fin tuna species. The water should have been packed with them swimming beneath the dolphins. It’s a mysterious relationship that has captivated scientists and been horrifically exploited by the tuna industry, to the point that now, there are precious few left. And the solutions are simple, but little known. The general world has no idea what is truly going on.


To be blunt Be As One is shocked, that the BBC failed even to mention the real issues bringing an illusion to the public and shirking responsibility to bring about a real and positive change. One would like to think that a well-respected channel such as this, actually gives a damn about the dolphins they put so much effort and money into filming. In addition the BBC crew had the power and resources on the ground, to make an incredible difference to the lives of the individual dolphins through using their cameras to catch the reality of a Spinner dolphins fight for life inside a tuna net. If the world saw what really goes on in Costa Rican waters well, perhaps there would be a chance of change.  As it stands it’s not looking so good for the Spinner dolphins or the yellow fin tuna for that matter. Click here to find out what you can do. Please Donate to our marine fund and  help get our team get back there to expose this,  we really do care about getting the truth out.


Nori Neumann

Campaign Director

nori ‘at’

Team searching for the fleets in their tuna hunting ground


Super pods of Spinners, in troubled times...

Member of the World Cetacean Alliance

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