Rare dolphin species spotted on Bahraini waters
MANAMA, September 1, 2014
A warning has gone out to fishermen to be 'extra cautious' following sightings of a rare species of dolphin in Bahraini waters.
The Supreme Council for Environment (SCE) said a special team that checks water quality and monitors wildlife spotted a female Chinese White Dolphin trying to revive its newborn, which had died off the coast of Sitra, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It consulted regional marine experts to confirm the species, which was thought to have left Bahrain in 2006 when a sighting of 227 dolphins was recorded that year.
An SCE spokesman has urged fishermen to avoid injuring or killing endangered marine species.
“This type of dolphins prefer shallow waters around islands and maritime channels, which puts it in danger,” he told the GDN.
“Therefore, the SCE calls upon fishermen and ship captains to be cautious, when they come across these dolphins and other marine animals, to avoid injuring or killing them unintentionally, due to the rules we have in nourishing the ecosystem.
“These dolphins are called Sousa Chinensis, also known as Chinese White Dolphin, and can reach up to a length of 3.5m and maximum weight of 250kg.
“The first sighting was recorded in 15th Century off the coast of Hong Kong.
“However, they are in danger today.
“We would also like to warn fishermen that catching or causing the death of such species is prohibited by law.”
To report any marine violations or sightings, call 80001112.
The GDN earlier reported that rapid response teams were patrolling Bahrain's coastline on speedboats to combat illegal fishing practices that were believed to have caused the recent deaths of a dolphin and a turtle found washed up near Al Dur two weeks ago.
Last week, another endangered sea turtle was found dead near Al Dar Islands.
The SCE said fishermen often dump such by-catch, leaving it for dead in a bid to avoid prosecution by the authorities. - TradeArabia News Servie