Second whale carcass washes ashore | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 11, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:19 AM, April 11, 2021

Second whale carcass washes ashore

Experts think large ships might have fatally injured them

A second whale carcass washed ashore at Himchhari beach of Cox's Bazar yesterday.

The first dead whale was found on the beach on Friday.

Researchers and experts suggest that large ships plying the sea route beyond Bangladesh's exclusive economic zone might have caused injuries to the marine mammals resulting in their death.

The female whale's carcass, which washed ashore yesterday, had a six-feet deep injury to its back, said Shafikur Rahman, chief scientific officer of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute in Cox's Bazar.

He suspected that ships which ply the route beyond Bangladesh's exclusive economic zone injured the whales.

"Whales move in pods. Such deep injuries to marine mammals cannot be caused without the involvement of large vessels," he added.

Shafikur expressed fear that more whale carcasses might wash ashore in Cox's Bazar in the next few days.

The 48-feet long female whale weighed around 10 tonnes and it was aged about 40, he said.

Md Torikul Islam, scientific officer of Bangladesh Oceanography Research Institute, said they cut open the stomachs of the two whales and found no food.

"No plastic was found in the stomachs either. We collected samples from the organs and sent those to Chattogram Veterinary Animal Science University for better analysis," he told The Daily Star.

He also suggested that whales might have died from injuries caused by propellers of large vessels.

Mohammad Nurul Azim Sikdar, associate professor of marine science at Chattogram University, said the two whales might have been separated from their pods after sustaining injuries, caused likely by ships.

"I suspect a few more whale carcasses may wash ashore in the next few days," he told this newspaper.

On Friday, the carcass of a male whale washed ashore at Himchhari beach. The authorities later buried it on the beach.

From January 2020 to April 2021, Cox's Bazar shore has seen four such mammal carcasses washing ashore.


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