Malaysia: Malaysian Nature Society concerned over dead Dolphins

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Picture of the dead Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin* found at the Tanjung Bungah beachfront.

By Imran Hilmy, 6th January 2018;

The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has questioned why no autopsy was conducted on two Dolphins found dead less than a week apart at the Tanjung Bungah beachfront.

MNS advisor D. Kanda Kumar said Dolphins are not common in Penang waters but have been spotted around the island sometimes.

He said it is quite baffling that the Dolphins were found dead in the same area within the same week

“This might indicate something is wrong with the waters there, we might not know whether the area is contaminated or the Dolphins had plastic waste in their stomachs”, he told The Sun when contacted.

Kanda Kumar said the relevant authorities should come and collect the carcasses for an autopsy.

He said without an autopsy, the cause of death of the mammals will not be known.

“There must be a reason why the Dolphins were found dead in the same area, there could be something wrong with the waters”, he said.

When contacted Penang Department of Fisheries (DOF) director Noraisyah Abu Bakar confirmed that the department had received reports from the public about the dead Dolphins.

She said the mammals are from the common species of dolphins known as Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)*.

She also pointed out the mammal is not endangered, the department is not required to conduct an autopsy on the carcasses.

“Following the standard operating procedure, we did not conduct an autopsy on the mammals as it is not endangered”, she said.

Noraisyah said necessary action had been taken by the department and urge the public to inform the authorities if they discover any dead marine species in their respective areas.

She also called on environmentalist groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to work together with the FIR in creating awareness and at the same time protect endangered marine life in Penang waters.

Source: The Sun Daily

*Contrary to the opinion of the Penang Department of Fisheries director, the carcasses look more like Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Sousa chinensis), and have been identified as such by multiple sources in other reports.

Malaysia: Mystery surrounds Dolphin carcasses found on Penang beach

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Photo: Jeya Shah Facebook

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Photo: Department of Fisheries Malaysia Twitter

By Melissa Darlyne Chow, 5th January 2018;

Residents have been left puzzled after two Dolphin carcasses were washed ashore on a beach in Tanjung Bungah here within a week.

Sonya Shah said the first carcass was found on Dec 29, while the second was found two days ago.

While both Dolphins have since been buried at the beach, Sonya, who lives nearby, expressed her disappointment with the way the situations were handled.

“My mother and I struggled to get help as we called several fisheries, marine rescue teams and wildlife sanctuaries based in Penang and each of them passed the job onto someone else.

“Every one of them gave us different phone numbers to call and their reason for not attending to the incident was that it was ‘not their job’. They even advised us to call SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals),” she said in a Facebook post, adding that it took several hours until a small group of people came to help.

Sonya said she had expected the Dolphins to be taken to laboratories to be examined so that their cause of death could be determined and future deaths could be prevented.

“Evidently, these deaths must have been unnatural and I am no marine biologist but I know that this could have been avoided. Whether they had been poisoned, gotten lost, suffocated, or caught a disease.

“We could have helped and it didn’t need to result in death. They are just as worthy of living as we are,” she said.

Sonya also lamented the actions of beachgoers who had a total disregard and lack of respect for the carcasses.

“People were actually throwing shingles, pebbles and shells at the carcass and when asked not to fiddle with the body, they responded with anger, hostility and impudence,” she said.

Meanwhile, activist Andrew Ng said they had contacted the Fisheries Department concerning the carcasses.

“I personally think that they didn’t do a thorough job. They just measured and buried the body.

“They didn’t determine the cause of death or take any samples from the dolphin for testing,” he told FMT.

Ng said he sent photographs of the carcasses to the Langkawi Dolphin Research Centre, which provided information on the species of the Dolphins.

“The centre said that it is an Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (Sousa chinensis), a near threatened species under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list,” he added.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia: Two Dolphins found dead in less than a week

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Photo: Department of Fisheries Malaysia Twitter

5th January 2017;

A dead Dolphin was washed ashore in Tanjung Bungah, the second within six days.

Environmental activist Andrew Ng Yew Han said the first Dolphin, which was decomposing, was spotted last Friday at the same stretch of beach behind a hotel in Tanjung Bungah while another was found yesterday.

“I’ve asked the fishermen and residents’ association to let me know if there are more sightings of dead Turtles or Dolphins, and I alerted the authorities over the years whenever there are such sightings.

“This is to create more awareness and pressure the authorities to investigate such matters as it is vital to find out their cause of death,” he said.

Senior lecturer Dr Leela Rajamani from the Centre for Marine and Coastal studies of Universiti Sains Ma­­laysia, confirmed that the de­­com­­posing Dolphin was that of an Indo-Pacific Humpback (Sousa chinensis).

She said the humpback species was among the four main species in Penang.

“We see them going around the island and they are commonly sighted in a big group heading north, west and south of the island.

“A post-mortem is needed to identify their cause of death.

“We are looking for funding. A proper lab is needed to do a post-mortem,” she said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Two dead Dolphins washed up in Penang in under a week

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Photos: Department of Fisheries Malaysia Twitter

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Photos: Pulau Parasit Facebook

By Audrey Dermawan, 4th January 2018;

Two Dolphins have been found dead at the Tanjung Bungah beachfront in less than a week.

The first death was reported on Dec 29 while another death was reported today.

The double deaths have raised concern among environmentalists, who have called for a thorough probe into the incident.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia said the deaths of the mammals should be investigated.

The non-governmental organisation said that the earlier death was reported to the Fisheries Department but the department did not take any follow-up action.

“They just buried it instead of conducting an autopsy.

“We would not know the cause of death unless the department or the Fisheries Research Institute of Malaysia carries out a post-mortem,” said a SAM representative.

The death of the mammals was first posted in the Pulau Parasit Facebook page.

According to the page, the dead dolphins were of the Indo-Pacific Humpback species (Sousa chinensis).

Dolphins are a rare sight in Penang waters, but have been spotted around the island in recent weeks.

A local claimed to have seen several dolphins in the waters off Teluk Bahang on Christmas Eve, while another allegedly spotted a couple of dolphins near the Penang Bridge last Saturday.

Source: New Straits Times

Photo: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva, via Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Philippines: Beached Pilot Whale rescued in Ilocos Norte
6th December 2017;

Authorities rescued a female Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) found beached in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

At about 6:00 a.m., coastal residents in Salugan village tried to get near the stranded marine mammal but due to strong winds, it was drifted to the sandy shores of Barangay Victoria, in front of the Sitio Remedios Resort in Currimao town.

The locals reported the incident to concerned authorities, responders for endangered marine mammals in the province immediately proceeded to the area to rescue the stranded whale.

One of the responders, Provincial Fisheries and Regulatory Officer Arthur Valente, said in an interview that the endangered marine animal is now recovering. “She can now float while supportive care is being administered,” he said of the Whale.

Valente added that the responders are still doing their best to stabilize the stranded marine animal before they can release it back to the open sea.

Representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local government units, village officials, Philippine Maritime, fisherfolk community and the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network based in the province are jointly conducting monitoring of the stranded Whale.

Based on initial assessment, Valente said the Pilot Whale appeared to be stressed and had bruises around the face.

Over the years, Ilocos Norte has been considered as one of the hot spots for stranded marine mammals, with a number of them successfully rehabilitated and released.

Source: PageOne.ph

Photos: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva

A 3.85 m adult female Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) stranded in Gaang Bay, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. The animal was released but restranded. PMMSN 1 lead by BFAR 1, LGU-Currimao, PVO and OPAG of Ilocos Norte, Brgy. VIctoria officials and fisherfolks are attending to the animal.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Update, 6th December 2017 16:43

We regret to inform everyone that this Pilot Whale died early this morning. Necropsy is currently being conducted by Dr. Jeneveve Suliva and her team from the PVO of Ilocos Norte.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Photo: Dhanjorvan Rasay

A male female Pilot Whale stranded in Brgy Victoria, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. It is now being inspected by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Picture and report by Dhanjorvan Rasay.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Photos of the Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) that died after being stranded on the coast of Ujung Kreung, Aceh.

Source: WWF Indonesia Facebook

    Rescuers attempt attempt to push stranded Whales back into the ocean at Ujong Kareng beach in Aceh province, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. An official said 10 Whales were stranded at the beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.

  1. Rescuers attempt to save stranded Whales back into the ocean at Ujong Kareng beach in Aceh province, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. An official said a small pod of Whales was stranded at the beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.
  2. Curious onlookers watch as rescuers attempt to save stranded Whales back into the ocean at Ujong Kareng beach in Aceh province, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. An official said a small pod of Whales was stranded at the beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.

Photos: AP Photo/Syahrol Rizal and Zulkarnaini

Indonesia:Beached Whales led out to sea off Indonesia’s Aceh but 4 die
15th November 2017;

Four of 10 Whales that beached off Indonesia’s Aceh province have died because of injuries and exhaustion, a fisheries official said Tuesday.

The Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) became stranded Monday at Ujong Kareng beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.

Nur Mahdi, the head of Aceh’s marine and fisheries office, said two Whales that were both extensively scratched and bruised died early Tuesday while two others that were very weak died a few hours later.

He said five of the giant mammals were refloated on Monday and led out to sea by boats, but waves washed two back to shore. Fishing boats led the pair and a remaining Whale out to sea on Tuesday.

Mahdi said Whale pods follow a group leader and can become stranded if the leader swims too close to shore due to sickness or other reasons.

Several dozen strandings of Whales, Dolphins and other marine mammals are reported each year in Indonesia, an archipelago nation of more than 17,000 islands.

Ten Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) died last year when a pod of more than 30 stranded off the coast of Probolinggo district in East Java province.

Source: Associated Press

Four of 10 Sperm Whales that were stranded and found by residents on the coast in Ujung Kreung, Aceh, have died, though the remaining six were released into the ocean on Tuesday (14/11).
Photo: Antara Photo/Irwansyah Putra

Indonesia: Four of 10 Sperm Whales Stranded on Acehnese Beach Die
By Dames Alexander Sinaga, 15th November 2017;

Four of 10 Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) that were stranded and found by residents on the coast in Ujung Kreung, Aceh, have died, though the remaining six were released into the ocean on Tuesday (14/11).

Sapto Prabowo, head of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Aceh, said the dead Whales might be contaminated with fungal infections.

“So far, we have suspected the four dead Whales, which were stranded in Aceh Besar, had fungal infections in their skin and mouths,” Sapto said in Aceh Besar on Tuesday, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.

The 10 Whales were reportedly stranded on Ujung Kreung Beach on Monday morning.

Sapto said BKSDA, along with Whale experts from Bali, have examined the dead Whales and have come up with preliminary findings that show the Whales had fungal infections that produced worms.

He said the fungus infections affected the mammals’ metabolism, presumably causing the death of the four stranded Whales.

However, he said an autopsy is now being conducted by a team from the faculty of veterinary medicine at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh to determine the cause of death of the four Whales.

“The cause of the death of these Whales still remains unknown. We still need to wait for the results of the autopsy,” Sapto said.

Meanwhile, Basri, head of the Whale evacuation team and an official at the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, said the four dead Whales will have to be buried on Ujung Kreung Beach, as the team does not have the proper equipment to cast the Whales back into the ocean.

“Usually, they are drowned in the oceans when they are dead, but due to not having the tools, they will have to be buried,” Basri said.

Source: Jakarta Globe