Thiruvananthapuram: The lack of awareness among local community cost the life of three rare finless porpoises this week at Valiyathura. The World Conservation Union has classified the animal commonly found in Kerala coast as vulnerable. Last Monday, two adult porpoises and their pup were caught in a net at Valiyathura. By the time activists reached there, they had spent too much time inside the net and died.
“The pup was alive and could not swim and died rolling on the beach,” said Robert Panipilla, chief coordinator of Friends of Marine Life. Porpoises are cetacean mammals that are similar to dolphins and whales that found in Japan, Korea, China, Bangladesh and rarely in India. They don't have fins and are intelligent and social animals that communicate by making sounds.
They do not reproduce prolifically, as they are mammals and pups take six to eight years to attain sexual maturity. Many are killed before they reach this age, and their numbers dwindle rapidly. “In foreign countries, a lot of awareness is given to local communities using television advertisements. They know how to rescue a rare turtle or mammal when they are beached. We do not need separate laws but just need to form and maintain Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) as per laws, in coordination with residents,” Mr Panipilla demanded.