Bottlenose dolphins diet consists mainly of small fish with occasional squid, crabs, shrimp, and other smaller animals.

Their teeth are not used to chew the food. When a shoal of fish is found dolphins work as a team to keep the fish close together and maximize the harvest. They also search for fish alone, often bottom dwelling species. Sometimes dolphins will employ “fish whacking” whereby a fish is stunned (and sometimes thrown out of the water) with the fluke to make catching and eating the fish easier.

Perceived conflict of interactions between common Bottlenose Dolphins and coastal, small scale commercial fisheries has been reported in a number of Mediterranean areas. Common Bottlenose Dolphins are probably attracted to fishing nets activities because they make it easier for the dolphins to exploit a concentrated food source.

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