TUTICORIN: Around 100 whales have been washed ashore in Tuticorin , Tamil Nadu, since last night.
According to officials, the fishermen dragged many of the beached whales back into the sea but they keep returning to the shores near Manapadu and Kallamozhi villages.
Carcasses of 30 baleen whales were found washed ashore near the Tiruchendur beach in this district early today while 250 of the same species have been stranded in shallow waters, officials said.
Efforts are on to push the stranded sea mammals into deep waters even as a team of top officials of the fisheries department have rushed to the spot to conduct a probe.
"This is an unusual thing...an unusual mortality incident, we have to find out the reason," Marine Scientist Velumani at the fisheries department, told PTI.
"There could be many reasons...navy sonars could have caused it...or pollution...the reason is not immediately known and we don't want to speculate," Assistant Director of Tuticorin fisheries department, Amal Xavier, said.
"We have to study the health of the stranded whales and also the eco-system. The study would require the help of oceanographic experts also," Velumani said.
Senior district official Ravi Kumar, who visited Manapadu, said the small fin whales that came to the shore appear disoriented. He added this is the first time that so many have been beached.
In August last year, the carcass of a 33-feet-long whale washed up on a beach near a village in Nagapattinam district. Even in April, carcass of a whale washed ashore at Veppalodai coast which was identified as a ‘Sperm Whale’ by a team of scientists from the Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI).
(With inputs from PTI)