People, Environment

Rare Whale Dies in Chabahar Fish Trap

Rare Whale Dies in Chabahar Fish TrapRare Whale Dies in Chabahar Fish Trap

A beached whale in Ramin Port in Chabahar, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is said to have died of wounds from abandoned fish traps, also called ghost nets.

Early this week, villagers and local fishermen spotted the giant creature on the beach and informed the local office of the Department of Environment and Iran's Fisheries Organization.

Following examinations on the carcass, experts determined that the animal had died two or three weeks ago after getting entangled in abandoned fish traps and was gradually moved ashore by waves, IRNA reported.

According to Ashrafali Hosseini, the head of Chabahar's DOE, the animal was a 5.5-meter immature humpback whale, a rare marine species in the region.

The official added that the presence of this species "indicates that enough food is found in the waters of Makran Coast for such animals".  

"The rare species frequently get stuck and die in discarded fishing gear," he said, adding that comprehensive studies are required to identify the mammal species in the waters of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, and devise conservation programs.

Humpback whale is one of the largest species of whales found in oceans and seas around the world. They typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometers each year. Humpbacks feed in polar waters and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth when they fast and live off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish.

Ghost nets, described by experts as "silent killers in the oceans", are a threat to a host of marine species. It is unclear how many animals fall prey to these abandoned nets, but action is being taken by various entities such as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the International Union of Conservation of Nature to tackle the problem.


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