Connect with us

Phuket

Trawling fingered as threat to Phuket dolphins

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Trawling by fishermen in the seas off Phuket and other parts of Thailand has led, it is charged, to the deaths of around 20 dolphins since the beginning of this year.

Two more turned up dead last week in Satun province, on the southern border with Malaysia, and one was found on Saturday, badly injured in the surf off Nai Thon beach on Phuket’s northwest coast.

Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) researcher Phaothep Cherdsukjai told the Gazette that two dolphins have been found dead on Koh Sarai, an island in Satun province about 20 kilometers off the southern coast.

An infant female humpback or Chinese white dolphin weighing 21 kilograms and measuring 116 centimeters long was found on September 2.

According to Mr Phaothep, the cetacean’s age was estimated to be not more than one year old because the teeth were not yet grown.

Examination showed wounds around the snout-end, which were probably consonant with those produced by a trawl. Caught in the trawl and unable to come up for air, she evidently drowned.

Five days later, another female dolphin, of the species Irrawaddy (called in Thai pla loma hua baht owing to its blunt, rounded head), was found dead at Koh Sarai.

Examination suggested that the animal, a close relative of the orca, may have succumbed to a lung infection rather than to fishermen. Her age was put at about one year; weight 65 kilograms, length 171 centimeters.

“Most dolphins discovered dead or wounded,” said Phaothep, “are victims of fishing trawlers.” He said his institute is trying to solve the problem “through education.”

“Fishermen are taught that when dolphins are caught in their nets they must let them go immediately before they drown or are wounded.”

Such wounds often become infected and lead to the creatures’ demise.

The researcher explained that dolphins are more sensitive than people generally realize. “Sometimes, when caught in the trawls, dolphins die right away – merely of shock,” he said.

As proof, perhaps, that the PMBC’s campaign to educate people about dolphins is taking hold, on Saturday it was reported that authorities at Sirinat National Park on Phuket’s northwest coast called in help from the institute’s Rare Marine Animals unit when a fully grown female was found by villagers at Nai Thon beach.

The 2.5-meter-long bottle-nosed dolphin had washed up on the sand – still alive.

Villagers put the limp creature in water “to keep her from over-heating” and notified authorities.

Unfortunately she died before help could arrive. PMBC staff noted that the dolphin had suffered numerous abrasions “probably from tumbling in the surf and on the rocks” and estimated her age at about 15 years.

The report said that the animal was probably ill before growing too weak to remain at sea, perhaps from disease communicated by another dolphin.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Woman goes bananas after children steal her fruit and sues them for 24,000 baht

China10 hours ago

China says Covid has weakened as it announces loosening of strict policies

Thailand10 hours ago

Dog carries baby’s corpse out of a forest in eastern Thailand

Sponsored2 days ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Events10 hours ago

Travis Scott to headline Rolling Loud Thailand festival

Thailand10 hours ago

9 year old boy rescued after falling into 2-metre deep well

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sexy Thai model exposed as an identity thief and transwoman

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
South11 hours ago

Whale washes up on beach in South Thailand

Transport11 hours ago

Last jumbo – the last Boeing 747 leaves the gate

Weather11 hours ago

Bangkok could hit lows of 18°C next week

Thailand11 hours ago

Geminids meteor shower predicted to hit Thailand on December 14 

Crime12 hours ago

Kuwaiti overstayer busted in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

What next for Bali as Indonesia bans sex?

Thailand12 hours ago

Jailed politician erects billboard to wish voters Happy New Year

Thailand12 hours ago

Beastly reptile crocs the world of small village in southern Thailand

Pattaya13 hours ago

Pattaya officials continue to struggle with homeless problem

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending