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Strange dolphins appearance at Gaddani beach sign of coming disaster: elder fishermen
03-07-2009, 08:36 AM
Post: #1
Strange dolphins appearance at Gaddani beach sign of coming disaster: elder fishermen
[Image: 20090307_e07.jpg]

By Amar Guriro

KARACHI: The mysterious appearance of two different schools of Spinner Dolphins on different locations on the Gaddani beach has confused many and caused them think about the reason behind the strange coincidence.

The appearance of the dolphins in two different locations has forced a tsunami expert to deduce that poisonous chemicals must have leaked into the sea forcing the animals to head for the shore. Elderly fishermen of the area say that the occurrence is a sign of another natural disaster in Arabian Sea in the near future, however, WWF-Pakistan officials term the incident as a simple coincidence.

The news of the appearance of a large number of Spinner Dolphins on the beach around 200 meters from the main Gaddani Jetty, forced several people from Hub and other towns of Balochistan and Sindh to rush to the site.

The Gaddani beach is located near the Hub River and Cape Monze in Gaddani town, District Lasbela, Balochistan, where usually people come for picnics.

When Dildar Ali, a resident of the Hub Town in Balochistan, reached the beach at 2:00 pm, he saw a magnificent scene that happened for the first time in the history of the country. “When I reached the beach I found around 20 dolphins slowly moving in the shallow water; one of the dolphins was bleeding and it died later,” he told this scribe over the telephone.

Ali revealed that after sometime a WWF-Pakistan team arrived at the scene to rescue the dolphins and took the dead dolphin with them. “I never imagined that I would see such a large number of dolphins so close to the beach,” he said.

Interestingly, WWF-Pakistan’s Dr Ghulam Akbar bluntly rejected the claim that the team took a dead dolphin and said that all of the dolphins were safely rescued.

WWF-Pakistan is running a Cetacean Conservation Project for last several years. He said that the dolphins stranded on Gaddani were Spinner Dolphins that usually travel and live in large schools. “In deeper waters, there are several many dangers, thus these dolphins swim in schools and some of them search for food, others care for the young and some protect the school from larger cetaceans,” Akbar said.

There are three types of the dolphins that are found near the beaches of Sindh and Balochistan, these include the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Humpback Dolphin and the Spinner Dolphin. The Spinner Dolphin is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters of Balochistan. It is famous for acrobatic displays where they jump out of the sea and spin longitudinally as they leap through the air.

Muhammad Saleh, an elderly fisherman of Gaddani said that the appearance of the dolphins was a sign of a natural disaster in the Arabian Sea in the near future. Talking to this scribe over the telephone, he said that before natural disasters fish, dolphins and whales rush to the shores to avoid the calamities.

However, WWF-Pakistan officials bluntly rejected these apprehensions. “It was simply an accident, one of the dolphins chased a fish during a high tide and when it came too close to the shore and was stranded in the shallow waters due to the low tide, it called for help. This resulted in other dolphins of the school to rush to the shore,” said Akbar.

He went on to say that in the evening another group of dolphins were seen near the beach however, they were also safely rescued and released into the sea.

A WWF-Pakistan official was of the view that perhaps the reason the dolphins appeared so close to the shore was due to them getting caught in a red tide in which the level of oxygen decreases, which then results in the dolphins rushing closer to the shore in search of oxygen. He also stated that around 225 dolphins appeared near the shore.

Pakistan International Union for Nature Conservation’s Tahir Qureshi suggested that in the ship breaking industry of Gaddani, a ship carrying poisonous chemicals or heavy consignment of oil must have been broken, resulting in the toxicants spreading into the sea which then forced these dolphins to rush to the shore. “There is a dire need to conduct a survey of the Gaddani ship breaking area to find out what really happened,” he said.

Qureshi further demanded that the Government of Pakistan ensure that deep sea trawlers use devices for dolphin protection. “As there is Turtle Excluder Device to protect turtles, there must be a device that protects dolphins because the two-mile long fishing nets sometimes seriously injure dolphins and when the injured animal is taken to the shore, the rest of its schools follows,” he revealed. Qureshi is a tsunami expert and has been working on the mangroves and sea animals in Bolchistan for the past five years. “There are remnants of dolphins, whales, turtles and other sea animals all along the Balochistan coast; at Gawadar, Jeevani, Pasni and other coastal cities. This means that these animals died after getting entangled in fishing nets,” he said. Qureshi seconded the elderly fisherman’s view, saying that whenever there is tsunami or any seismic activity in the sea, animals and birds gather along the coastal areas.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp...09_pg12_12
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