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Dolphin chokes to death on plastic off Gujarat coast

 The pollution in the sea is taking a heavy toll on the marine life along the coast. Latest in the series of tragedies is death of the 14-foot-long dolphin that choked to death after swallowing plastic. Prakruti Nature Club's Jignesh Gohil, who was present in the rescue attempt, said, "During the postmortem we found that the dolphin, which was about 20 years old, had died because of chocking. In autopsy, we found four thick plastic bags. The dolphin was 14.4 feet in size and was about one ton in weight.

 

It was found dead along the Sutrapada coast. Senior officials said this was the first incident where plastic bags were recovered from the stomach of a dolphin. In the past there have been incidents where dolphins or dugongs were found dead on the Gujarat coast, but in no plastic was found inside the bodies. The official said that the presence of plastic in the stomach was an indication of the increasing level of pollution along the coast. Recently a dolphin in the Narmada estuary was spotted which according to the fishermen was nothing new.

 

The fishermen in south Gujarat and Saurashtra and mostly in Kutch have reported the presence of this aquatic mammal. The population of this large marine mammal is touted to be rising in Gujarat, but there is no specialized force to guide them to freedom in such exigencies, a forest department official said. Dolphins in Gujarat are frequently spotted in Gulf of Kutch, off Jamanagar coast, and their numbers is growing, he added. It is estimated that Gujarat is home to around 50 to 100 dolphins, though no official census has been conducted so far.

 

 Times of India, Delhi, Tuesday 6th May 2014