I’ve just received news from ocean noise coalition member Sigi Luber about a mass stranding of Rough Toothed dolphins on Cape Verde. There seems to be over 50 that began hitting the beach last Tuesday Oct 20.
Sigi sent an article from A Nação (translated below). Another article from A Semana is in English. Both articles mention attempts to “save” the dolphins by dragging them back into the water – a compassionate but ill-informed idea. These animals stranded for a reason. If they can’t be rehabilitated by capture and human intervention, setting them back into the water may be more cruel than helpful.
Tissue samples were taken, but I an unaware of any necropsies being performed. As of yet there is no correlation between the stranding and military operations or other extreme acoustic event.
I will keep folks posted as I find out more on this tragic event.
Translation of A Nação article:
Dozens of stranded dolphins die on the beach at Estoril in Boa Vista
Several dozen dolphins gave the coast of Estoril Praia, one of the most frequented both by locals as by tourists on the island of Boa Vista, about a thirty stranded and died within sight of the population. Residents of the village of Sal Rei and tourists that went to witness the phenomenon tried to help the whales back to sea, but few have succeeded, saving themselves from perishing. The reports made by persons contacted by “The Nation” indicate that the dolphins began to give the coast in small flocks in the late afternoon yesterday, Tuesday, and the number increased throughout the night.
This morning, attempts to save the whales, all adults, judging by the size, had some success, but much turned out to not get back in the water and refocus and eventually die, as evidenced by the pictures, written Photographer Mario Evora, kindly sent to our editorial.
It is unknown at present, the causes of the incident, but this is not the first time we are witnessing a phenomenon of its kind in the Cape Verde islands, moreover, is common.
Strandings of dolphins and whales on the beaches for no apparent reason is usually associated with the presence of submarines in the vicinity of where such phenomena occur. It is scientifically proven that the communication systems of the submersibles, including sonar, the ability to affect orientation of cetaceans, leading to disasters such as occurred yesterday and today in Boa Vista.