Thailand: VMARC reveals stingray deaths triggered by toxic waste
12th October 2016;

The Veterinary Medical Aquatic animal Research Center (VMARC) revealed that massive Giant Freshwater Stingray (Urogymnus polylepis) deaths in the Mae Khlong River in Samut Songkhram were caused by toxic waste.

VMRAC Director Nantarika Chansue said lab results revealed that it was likely that the fish were killed by toxic waste from factories. She claimed their deaths were not triggered by natural causes.

Dr. Nantarika said even though it was not clear what type of toxic waste was found inside the fish, it was certainly not the kind that could be found in the nature. At least 50 Stingrays were killed in the river.

Pollution Control Department Director General Wijarn Simachaya said authorities will be able to identify the origin of toxic chemicals when more test results are released this Friday.

Legal actions are expected to be taken against responsible factories. Samut Songkhram Governor Kanchat Tansatien has instructed relevant agencies to investigate the cause of Stingray deaths.

Mr. Kanchat also said the recent massive deaths of Razor Clams (Solen sp.) in Don Hoi Lot were caused by algal blooms, not the same toxic waste water that killed the Stingrays. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a quick probe into the problem as it is a direct threat to the ecosystem.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

Photos: Khaosod

Thailand: Chinese White Dolphin found dead on Tha Sala Beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province
By Jettana Pantana & Sirinthip Sitabutr, 6th May 2016;

A corpse of a Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis) was found on Tha Sala Beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, with wounds from fishing equipment.

The corpse was approximately 2.5 meters long and weighted 200 kilograms, with traumatic abrasions on the body and mouth.

Sayan Sahakul, a 38 year old local, revealed that the corpse was the largest of its kind sighted in 1 year. Dozens of Dolphins have been found dead in the past year, sparking concerns of an impending extinction of the species in the region.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

Photos: Niroot Phuket & Phuket Lifeguard Service on Phuket News

Thailand: Mass sea slug beachings at Phuket
By Nuppol Suvansombut, 8th March 2016;

Phuket residents have discovered hundreds of sea slugs washed up on the beach in Kratoo district. Marine biologists have speculated that beachings could have been caused by higher sea temperatures.

Mr. Supasit Boonpienpol, a marine biologist from the Phuket Marine Biological Center, said the sea slugs found at Kamala beach were not poisonous. He suspects that sea pollution and rising water temperatures could have forced these animals to swim closer to the beach before meeting their end.

Kratoo district sheriff Sayan Chanachaiwong and officials from related agencies visited the beach to observe the animals. Mr. Supasit has collected some of these slugs and taken samples of seawater and sand to the laboratory to determine the cause of death.

The mass sea slug beachings have not deterred tourists. Many continued to relax on the beach and go for a swim.

Source:

These have been identified as Lined Sea Hare (Stylocheilus striatus), a species known to aggregate in large numbers, followed by mass mortality. One possibility is that prior to this event, environmental conditions were suitable for abnormally large numbers of juveniles to mature and develop, followed by all of them dying together as they reach the end of their natural lifespan. It’s also possible that these aggregations had formed as a result of a local abundance of food, only to be killed by adverse conditions such as overheating and desiccation by the sun at low tide.

Thailand: Pink Dolphin washed up dead on Si Chon District

By Chaite Naasiri, 21st November 2014;

Residents living in Si Chon District of Nakhon Si Thammarat province have discovered the carcass of a female Pink Dolphin (Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin) (Sousa chinensis) on Kho Khao beach within the district.

The dolphin measured about 3 meters long and weighed more than 200 kilograms. There were visible wounds on the creature’s forehead as well.

Locals assume that the dolphin had died from swallowing globules of oil after the Si Chon beach area has been hit by a major oil spill on November 19th. The source of the spill supposedly originates from an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand.

Apparently, it has been a disaster for the population of dolphins and other marine creatures living in the area. As of now, authorities from the Marine and Coastal Resources Department in Songkhla province have taken the dolphin carcass for an autopsy test.

This has been the second time this year where beaches in Si Chon have been hit by an oil spill after a similar incident has happened on February 2014.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

Thailand: Pink Dolphin washed up dead on Si Chon District

Thailand: 24 hour watch being provided for False Killer Whale washed ashore

By Namo Vananupong, 1st November 2014;

Veterinary personnel in Songkhla and Phuket are on keeping a 24-hour watch on a False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) that washed up on the beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat, after the animal was determined to be sick.

According to fisheries specialist Santi Ninlawat, the False Killer Whale is afflicted with a respiratory tract infection – the lungs are believed to be affected. There is a large amount of phlegm, coughed up by the animal along with blood. It is currently unable to swim. The animal has been administered intravenous saline solution and antibiotics after veterinarians determined that the animal’s digestive system was not working properly.

The veterinary personnel are rotating their watch every two hours in order to provide 24-hour monitoring of the animal’s condition.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

Update: Based on updates from aquatic veterinarian Nantarika Chansue, the False Killer Whale’s condition (and eventual death) is believed to be due to the ingestion of plastics.

Thailand: 24 hour watch being provided for False Killer Whale washed ashore

Thailand: Ongoing deaths of Irrawaddy Dolphins bring fears of extinction
By Panod Srisinsuphya, 21st August 2014;

A continuous spate of dead Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in Songkhla Lake has created concerns among scientists that the distinctive creature could be heading towards extinction.

In recent years Irrawaddy Dolphins continued to be found dead even though the number dying has slowed somewhat compared to past years. Mr. Pongsak Kreaukeaw, a fisherman in the area said that yesterday, when he went out fishing, he found a dead 20-year-old Irrawaddy Dolphin measuring 2.1 meters in length and weighing some 80 kilograms floating in the lake. He urgently notified the Irrawaddy Dolphin preservation group in Ban-Laem-Hat area and the group immediately reported the death to the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center, Lower Gulf of Thailand, which came to pick up the dolphin for an investigation of the cause of death.

In the initial investigation, it was found that the female dolphin had died five days ago, and was already starting to decay. No indication of it having been caught in a fisherman’s net was found. The researchers have now put the body of the dolphin into an ice tank to be sent to a specialist for closer inspection in Bangkok.

Furthermore, Mr. Santi Nilawat, a fishing specialist from the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center, Lower Gulf of Thailand detailed the recent plight of Irrawaddy Dolphins in Songkhla Lake. In 2013 there were 7 deaths of Irrawaddy Dolphins, while this year, 5 of the dolphins have already been found dead. The previous instance was a dolphin that was found dead on 27th July 2014.

Statistically, the number of Irrawaddy Dolphin deaths in the lake is reducing; in 2010 a total of 13 were found dead, in 2011, 10 were found dead, 2012 14 died, while in 2013 7 died, and this year so far 5 have been found dead. The reason for this latest fatality is still unknown.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

Thailand: Bryde’s Whale carcass washed up on Hua-Hin Beach
By Chaite Naasiri, 6th August 2014;

A large Whale carcass has been found on the famous Hua-Hin Beach of Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Local fisherman have discovered the carcass of a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) measuring four meters long and weighing more than 300 kilograms on the beach as they were setting sail to catch some squid. The group immediately notified the Hua Hin Municipality about the incident.

Authorities from the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center in the Lower Gulf of Thailand are now working to determine the exact cause of death.

Necropsy tests would be conducted to see whether the Whale has sustained any injuries, especially in the abdominal cavity.

Initial investigations confirm that parts of the Whale’s skin were starting to peel off, indicating that the carcass was just starting to rot. Authorities have concluded that the Whale had been dead for around 3-4 days.

Another large Bryde’s Whale was also found dead on a coastal mangrove forest in Samut Prakan province on June 29th. Locals and tourists have felt sorry for the loss of the Bryde’s Whale, many of which once roamed the tropical waters in the area.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Confusion with the similar Omura’s Whale (Balaenoptera omurai) is also possible.

Thailand: Marine life rescue center underway following death of Bryde’s Whale in Samut Prakan

By Namo Vananupong, 4th July 2014;

The setting up of a rescue center for rare sea animals is underway, following the death of a Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) that was found in Samut Prakan this week, according to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

Dr. Nantharika Chansue, director of the marine animal diseases research center at Chulalongkorn University, said on Thursday the male Bryde’s Whale found in the mangroves in Phra Samut Chedi district of Samut Prakan was no more than 10 years of age and weighed approximately 80 tons. The carcass was found to have at least 4 bruises that were likely inflicted by a trawl net.

Dr. Nantharika indicated the Whale’s death was rapid and unnatural, as the animal was still able to feed and its body was not deformed.

Department of Marine and Coastal Resources director-general Nopphon Sisuk said he guessed the Whale was entangled in a trawl net and the bruises were inflicted as it struggled to free itself. The Whale was likely hit by the fishermen, who wanted it off the net quickly. This would have caused the Whale to become highly stressed, leading to a fatal shock.

Mr. Nopphon said a rescue center for rare marine animals will be set up and will be manned around-the-clock by specialist veterinarians.

Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

The taxonomy of the Bryde’s Whale is still far from settled; what we call the Bryde’s Whale has been split into two subspecies or even distinct species by some authorities: the true Bryde’s Whale, a larger species found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide (Balaenoptera brydei), and the Sittang or Eden’s Whale, a smaller form that may be restricted to coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific (Balaenoptera edeni). Confusion with the similar Omura’s Whale (Balaenoptera omurai) is also possible.

Thailand: Marine life rescue center underway following death of Bryde’s Whale in Samut Prakan