Chennai: As many as seven spinner dolphins were found dead on Tuesday including three at Venapurusham Kuppam village near Mahabalipuram and one each at Sadras Kuppam, Cuddalore Chinna Kuppam, Uyyali Kuppam and Nainar Kuppam.
In total, 14 dolphins have been found dead in the last three days. The marine mammal stranding and rescue team members of Tree foundation recorded specifications for investigations.
“When communicating with the local fishermen, we came to know that all these dolphins could have got entangled in Purse Seine fishing net and drowned. The Purse Seine fishing nets are used in steel body boats belonging to fishermen from Cuddalore district,” said marine mammal specialist Dr Supraja Dharini.
Sea Turtle Protection Force (STPF) member T.A. Pugalarasan said, “All dolphins would have probably been trapped in the same net and some would have died due to suffocation and drowning and washed ashore along Cuddalore Chinna Kuppam, Uyyali Kuppam and Sadras Kuppam.”
He also added that a few dolphins would have escaped in a semiconscious state and been carried away along the ocean currents and eventually dead and stranded along Venpurusham and Naiyanar Kuppam. Along with dolphins, the STPF members have also found two green turtle dead and washed ashore in Cuddalore Chinna Kuppam.
The stranded dolphins were slender with an extremely long, thin beak. The dorsal fin ranged from slightly falcate to erect and triangular. They had dark eye-to-flipper stripes and dark lips and beak tips which were some of the features that confirmed they were spinner dolphins.
Along with dolphins, the STPF members have also found two green turtle dead and washed ashore in Cuddalore Chinna Kuppam.