International Radio China reported that more than 1,000 dolphins had encircled several Chinese ships sailing through the Gulf of Aden on Monday, creating a live barrier between the commercial vessels and the Somali pirates.
The China Daily reported that the dolphins "suddenly leaped out of water between the pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the Chinese vessels." The pirates were unable to approach the Chinese commercial vessels and had to retreat.
According to official reports, 20% of the 1,265 Chinese commercial vessels that passed through the Gulf of Aden in 2008 came under pirate attack.
Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia. The Chinese Navy has escorted some 200 vessels through the pirate-infested waters off the East African country, which has no functioning government after years of civil war.