Posted by: The ocean update | March 31, 2015

Dolphin Carcass Washed Ashore In Chemmanchery (India)

March 31st, 2015. Chennai – Carcass of an 8-feet long spinner dolphin, suspected to have been killed after being entangled in fishing nets, was washed ashore at Chemmanchery on Tuesday noon.

This is the fifth stranding of a spinner dolphin in two months and the mammal’s body was spotted by two members of the Sea Turtle Protection Force (STPF) of TREE Foundation.

“It was a slender dolphin with a long and thin beak. On close examination, we identified it to be a spinner dolphin,” said D Vetrivel, member of STPF. The 143-pound dolphin, a female calf, had several cuts with her flippers and tail too being cut off. “This is yet another case of entanglement in fishing net. The deep wounds suggest that,” added Vetrivel.

Spinner dolphins belong to the family delphinidae of toothed whales. Also referred to as the long snouted dolphin, they are known for their aerial and acrobatic behaviours.

They usually feed at night on mid-water fish and squids, but in turn are preyed on by sharks. Over the last few years, their numbers have come down mainly because of fishing practices – at least 15,000 of them are killed in gillnets and by hand harpooning.

“We have recorded several strandings of dolphins, whales and sea turtles especially since January 2015. Though we found trawler boats and fishing activities as the cause of death in a majority of cases, the exact reason about so many strandings this year is yet to be found,” said Supraja Dharini, from TREE Foundation.

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The carcass of the spinner dolphin was finally buried 20 metres above the high tide line by members from the STPF, to save it from getting devoured by jackals and crows.

List of whales and dolphins stranded since January 2015 :– Jan 18, 2015 – Bryde’s whale, Sadraskuppam- Jan 27, 2015 – Spinner Dolphin,Pudhu Kalpakkam

– Feb 1, 2015  – Spinner Dolphin, Sadraskuppam

– Feb 5, 2015  – Spinner Dolphin, Sadraskuppam

– Feb 28, 2015 – Spinner Dolphin, Chemmanchery

– Feb 28, 2015 – Sperm Whale, Alambarai Kuppam

– Mar 1, 2015  – Sperm Whale, Uyali Kuppam

– Mar 13, 2015 – Sperm Whale, Kokilamedu

– Mar 30, 2015 – Sperm Whale, Sadraskuppam

– Mar 31, 2015 – Spinner Dolphin, Chemmanchery

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