Rare dolphin found in Trang dragnet

THAILAND - An Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin under one year was found dead in Trang's Had Samran district yesterday, bringing the dolphin toll this year to nine.

The 19kg female dolphin carcass, with head and mouth wounds possibly inflicted by a fishing seine or dragnet, was discovered at 8.30am off the Andaman Sea in Tambon Ta Se by local fisherman Rerng Tui-oon, 58.

[A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.]

The dolphin, suspected of being dead for at least 24 hours, would be taken for autopsy at the Andaman Sea Fisheries Research and Development Centre in Phuket.

It was suspected the dolphin might have been eating the fish caught in the seine fishing and was trapped until it could not breathe and died.

Officials believe only 100 dolphins are left in the Had Samran Sea.

Ban Ta Se Dolphin Conservation Group leader Tawan Tui-oon said this period of year had seen many fishermen planting fishing seines to catch stingrays and this kind of seine is dangerous to other marine creatures. He urged for preventive measures to protect them or else the dolphins and other creatures would face extinction.