As many as 14 dead dolphins were washed ashore at three fishing villages in Tamil Nadu’s coast in last 3 days.
On Monday, bodies of 5 spinner dolphins were discovered near fishing hamlets to the south of Kalpakkam.
On Tuesday, seven spinner dolphins were found dead including three at Venapurusham Kuppam village near Mahabalipuram and one each at Sadras Kuppam, Cuddalore Chinna Kuppam, Uyyali Kuppam and Nainar Kuppam, Deccan Chronicle reported.
Members of the Sea Turtle Protection Force suspected that the dolphins could have been trapped in the fishing nets and died due to suffocation.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, 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 said that a few spinner dolphins could have escaped in a semi-conscious state, but could have then been carried away by strong ocean currents and would have eventually died.
The lack of any distinct injury mark on dolphin’s body also added to the suspicion.
“The dolphins did not have many distinct injuries which is why we suspect that they could have got caught in the net and drowned,” said Supraja Dharini, managing trustee of the Tree Foundation, as quoted by The Hindu.
Dolphins are mammals and breathe air into their lungs, just like humans. Dolphins cannot breathe under water like fish can as they do not have gills. Dolphins breathe through a nostril, called a blowhole, located right on top of their heads.