Indian Dolphin gets trapped in Kochi backwater canal at Nayarambalam,Vypin

Vypin,Nov17:An Indian dolphin made its way into the backwater canals of Nayarambalam region of Vypin.In arare sight peopele crowded the canal to get a glimpse of the sea mammal.The mammal probably looking for food strayed into the inland canal.

Dolphins leaping out of the Kochi backwaters especially during high tide , is a common sight. The scientists of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has recorded the sightings of 18 Dolphins along the Kochi coast during a photo identification exercise undertaken recently, which points to a rise in the numbers of the mammals off the Kochi coast.

“We’ve recorded 18 Indian humpback dolphins off the Kochi coast and eight in Alleppey. Around 1500 dolphins are there in total along the country’s west coast. Estuaries in places like Kochi and Karwar in Karnataka are among their favourites as these regions are rich in fish species like Sardine, the favourite food of the mammals,” said Dr R Jeyabhaskaran, Scientist, CMFRI.

“The dolphins used to feed in the backwater area and raise their calves in the shallow waters. But following the construction of ICTT in Vallarpadam, the LNG Terminal at Vypeen coupled with the high frequency of dredging and shipping traffic in the area, the dolphins have fled,” said Abhilash K S, a researcher at CMFRI who has been a part of various projects to study these mammals.

Researchers also blamed pollution for dolphins disappearing from the backwaters.

 “If one checks the waters near Wellingdon Island, one can notice an oily greasy consistency. We are currently testing the samples of this water, and our initial findings show that the oil content can be linked with the dumping of water used to clean ballast tanks of crude oil tankers. This affects dolphins and literally drives them further away down the coast,” said Abhilash.

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