In first case of live stranding in India, a ‘blue whale’ dies after washed ashore
On Wednesday, a 42-feet female blue whale washed up on a beach in Aligaug, Maharashtra.
People including fishermen and forest department tried hard to push it back into the water. A JCB was also used but this 20 tonne mammal was too heavy to move. The whale died on Thursday morning. The carcass was buried on the beach.
N. Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell said:
“The whale was stranded in the shallow waters near the coast and could not go back into the sea mainly because of its weight and size. Such incidents do happen, but in those cases, the whales go back to the sea once high tide sets in. Here, it was not lucky because of the low tide.”
He further expressed his grief over the incident and said:
“It is unfortunate that this blue whale was stranded in the shallow sea and eventually died. The blue whales are the biggest species of earth, and can grow up to 100 feet.”
It’s a big question on Indian government’s preparedness to deal with such eventualities. It’s not very common to come across such eventualities. It’s the first case of live stranding in India. Earlier, a dead whale was found at the Uran coast of Raigad district two months ago.
A forest department official admitted:
“This is the first case of a live stranding. We are not prepared for an eventuality like this. We need to have more experts in every district to reduce response time.”
As the beach was shallow, a large ship couldn’t come close to the animal. Because of the rough weather, no small boat ventured into the sea to assist with the operation. Usually, if such a large animal is beached for more than 12 hours, it does not survive. If we continue to push it using JCB machines, there is a chances of injuries, claims Vasudevan.
Tragically, a team of marine biologist from the Cetacean Population Study was very excited when it spotted live blue whales in the sea near the Konkan cost of Sindhudurg. Over a dozen of dolphins were found dead at Maharashtracost recently. The team was carrying out a study to figure out the cause deaths.
Via: The Hindu