Malaysia: Another dead dolphin found in Penang

The Star 15 Sep 16;

GEORGE TOWN: A dead dolphin washed ashore at the Teluk Bayu beach in Teluk Kumbar, the second such incident in the area within a month.

Beach-goers spotted the carcass, took pictures of it and uploaded them on social media. The images have since gone viral.

The first case occurred last month in which a dead dolphin, believed to have choked on plastic, was found along the beach off Pulau Jerejak.

It was not clear how the dolphin in the latest incident had died.

According to Universiti Sains Malaysia marine biologist Dr Aileen Tan, it was common for turtles to choke on plastic refuse, thinking that these were jellyfish.

Dolphins could also make the same mistake, she said after the first incident.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia president S.M. Mohamed Idris said he was saddened by the incidents because two dolphins had died in a month.

“It’s time for people to realise that throwing away rubbish haphazardly can cause the deaths of sea creatures.

“We will be starting a major clean-up campaign at polluted beaches in the state soon.

“I urge other NGOs to join us,” he added.

The state Fisheries Department could not be reached for comment.


Dead dolphin may have choked on rubbish
The Star 6 Aug 16;

GEORGE TOWN: A dolphin carcass believed to have been choked on rubbish has been found along the beach off Pulau Jerejak.

Photographs of the carcass went viral yesterday, causing an uproar among netizens.

One person commented: “It’s sad. Maybe this dolphin died because it ate plastic floating on the surface, which it thought was food”.

Marine biologist Associate Professor Dr Aileen Tan of Universiti Sains Malaysia said it was common for turtles to choke on plastic rubbish thinking that they were jellyfish. Dolphins also make the same mistake.

“Now, the beaches are more severely polluted compared to the beaches four years ago.

“The stretch along Pantai Acheh is probably the dirtiest due to the presence of old fishing nets, plastic items and other types of rubbish,” she said yesterday.

However, Dr Tan said the dolphin should be dissected to confirm the cause of death.

The animal could have died consuming rubbish thrown into the sea by the people, she said.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president S.M. Mohamed Idris said he was shocked by the incident.

“It’s shocking that this is happening here in a state which is promoting a cleaner, greener and safer environment.

“Penangites have a lackadaisical attitude in maintaining cleanliness,” he added.

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