Spinner dolphin

Stenella longirostris


Spinner dolphins are between 2 and 2.4 m long, slender with an extremely long beak. The dorsal fin is slightly curved. Most spinner populations have a three part color pattern that includes a dark dorsal cape, light gray sides, and white belly. They get their name by their habit of leaping and spinning.

Spinner dolphins often occur in very large groups hundreds of kilometers from the nearest land. They are often found in close association with Pantropical spotted dolphins in our waters.

Spinner dolphins are taken in high numbers as bycatch in purse-seine, gillnet, and trawl fisheries. Annual mortality of hundreds of spinner dolphins have been reported in India, and annual mortality in the thousands have been reported in Sri Lanka. Direct kills occur in several areas, including Sri Lanka and the Philippines and Indonesia. Spinner dolphins are not believed to be facing critical threats in pelagic waters of Bangladesh, but little is known about interactions of these animals with fisheries in the Swatch-of-No-Ground.