Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pollution blamed for dolphins' deaths

In the last seven days, two sea creatures have been found dead at Punta Carnero near Algeciras lighthouse by the Estrecho National Park.

A pilot whale and a dolphin have been found washed up, covered in residue from an oil spillage.
The dolphin was already dead, but the whale was still breathing though it died soon after.
Both creatures were found to have had their respiratory systems blocked, resulting in deaths by asphixiation.

A spokesman for the ecological organisation, Verdemar Ecologistas en Accion, Antonio Muñoz, has appealed for a thorough investigation into the deaths, and has asked for assistance from Algeciras Town Hall and the regional Environment department.

He suspects that the creatures suffered as a result from oil that boats spill into the waters while bunkering.

It is the second whale to die in the waters of the Campo de Gibraltar in seven days.

The photo shows the other whale, almost certainly a 'Balleen' and possibly a 'Minke,' that died near La Linea and was washed up along with a turtle.

The post mortem on the whale that died near Algeciras found it had an empty stomach, indicating it had not eaten for days and had a swollen liver, suggesting toxic poisoning, although it was initially believed that it had been involved in a collision with a fishing vessel.

In total, five whales have died off the Malaga and Cadiz coast in the past month.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"