Posted by: The ocean update | January 14, 2016

Toll of beached whales rises to 73 (India)

More than 80 whales were stranded on the shore at Tuticorin.

More than 80 whales were stranded on the shore at Tuticorin.

Thursday, January 14th, 2016. Tuticorin – Twenty-eight more short-finned pilot whales beached and died near the Tiruchendur beach, pushing the number of the dead sea mammals to 73, a top wild life official today said.

Wild life warden Deepak S.Bilgi said despite the best efforts jointly taken by wild life wardens, fishermen, coastal marine group and coast guard personnel to push some whales back into deep waters, 28 whales, one by one till late mid-night last night, beached and died.

Samples from the carcasses have been sent to Dehradun wild life research centre for further investigation, he said.

The salt content in the sea besides oxygen content were being assessed for studying environment conditions prevailing in the sea.

He ruled out pollution as the reason for the deaths, saying in that case other marine species also would have been affected.

Ed Sibylline : Wrong, in the case of noise pollution (sonar, air guns), cetacean are alone to beach although they’re not alone to be affected. They are the tip of the iceberg, agonizing more time instead of dying immediately (depending of the distance from the source of the pollution). But sampling won’t answer to nothing. The carcasses had to be necropsied, at least.

He said a possible reason was that a whale would have got disoriented and lost its way, and it would have attracted the others to the shore, leading to the catastrophe.

A detailed inquiry would be held into the death of the whales, an official said.

Officials had said yesterday that carcasses of 45 short-finned pilot whales were found washed ashore near Tiruchendur beach in Tuticorin district early Tuesday, in a phenomenon they described as unusual.

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