KARACHI: A dolphin that got entangled in fishing nets recently was safely released back into offshore waters about 96km south of Kund Malir, a desert beach part of Gwadar district of Balochistan.
The species was later identified as a common bottlenose dolphin about seven feet long.
“It’s a rare case and one must appreciate the fishermen who acted fast and rescued the dolphin, else it could have died. The marine mammal was caught in a tuna gillnet,” technical adviser (marine fisheries) to the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) Mohammad Moazzam Khan told Dawn.
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According to him, dolphins, like whales, are known to drown quickly once they get entangled in fishing nets as they fail to come out to the sea surface to breathe. Dolphins come out to the sea surface about three times per minute to inhale air under normal circumstances. Some more active dolphins may surface 10 to 12 times per minute.
“Entanglement of a dolphin in fishing net often results in its death. Luckily for this dolphin, fishermen were trained in rescuing endangered marine species,” he pointed out.
Citing the WWF-P survey currently in progress, he said that the assessment of mortality of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) in the gillnet fisheries had shown that dolphins died in all cases by the time the net was taken out from the sea.
The common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are found in the offshore shelf waters along Pakistan’s coast.
Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2015