Second Bryde’s whale washes Srikakulam shore in four months
The forest department and conservation teams are implementing measures to educate local fishermen.
VISAKHAPATNAM: In a second incident reported in four months, a Bryde’s whale washed ashore at Bhavanapadu Beach in Srikakulam district on Friday.
A team of four individuals, including marine biologist and founder of the East Coast Conservation Team Sri Chakra Pranav, gathered information regarding the incident. Speaking to TNIE, Pranav explained, “The cause of the whale’s death seems to be natural, as there are no external marks on its body. It might have died five to six days ago, before washing ashore.”
In another incident reported on July 27, another Bryde’s whale was spotted at Pathameghavaram village, 10 kilometres from Bhavanapadu Beach, in Srikakulam district. The necropsy revealed that it had succumbed to starvation.
Stating that the carcass of the whale found on Friday exhibited extensive bloating and decomposition, Pranav explained, “The abdominal region had ruptured, causing the expulsion of stomach contents. This rupture-related issue hindered the identification of the whale’s gender. However, we identified the whale as a 10-metre-long sub-adult, similar to the previously spotted whale, indicating a similar age approximation.”
He added that the recurrence of the incident suggested the potential presence of a substantial population of these creatures in the region. Additionally, the marine biologist emphasised the need for a comprehensive study of the region to ensure the protection of these creatures.
Elaborating on the common threats to marine species, he said ghost nets, which are abandoned fishing nets, act as death traps for sea animals, entangling them in strong plastic mesh and preventing their escape, ultimately resulting in fatalities. Boat strikes, on the other hand, injure the animals and disrupt the communication, navigation, and feeding patterns of marine mammals, causing stress and, consequently, contributing to their deaths.
The forest department and conservation teams are implementing measures to educate local fishermen. They discourage the capture of marine animals. Additionally, efforts are made to guide stranded marine animals safely back to the water. The initiative also involves raising awareness among the local community to promptly inform authorities in such situations, ensuring the timely intervention and rescue of marine animals.