Vijayawada

CMFRI identifies four whale stranding locations in A.P.

A file photo of the skeleton of a whale that was found dead off the Nagayalanka coast in Krishna district.

A file photo of the skeleton of a whale that was found dead off the Nagayalanka coast in Krishna district.  

Scientist calls for measures for protection of the species

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI-Kochi) has mapped the Andhra Pradesh coast and declared four coastal sites as ‘whale stranding locations’, calling for the immediate attention for protection of the species.

Of the four locations off Andhra Pradesh coast, two locations off Visakhapatnam coast near the city and Motupalli off Nellore coast have been found as the stranding locations of ‘blue whale’. Kakinada coast is the stranding location of minke whale.

CMFRI-Visakhapatnam scientist Loveson Edward has told The Hindu: “The four whale stranding locations have been identified on the Andhra Pradesh coast as a part of the mapping of such locations in the country.” Dr. Edward is one of the experts associated with the whale stranding mapping project.

Case studies

“Declaring of the stranding locations of the whale species helps prepare the protection plan, apart from alerting its presence and threats. In the case of Andhra Pradesh, the mapping will also serve as a guide for the Naval and coastal security wings to plan their movements and underwater exercises away from these locations without causing any disturbance to these species,” says Dr. Edward.

“Various case studies, including field observations at the fish landing points and reports of the forest authorities, have been validated before declaring the ‘stranding locations.’

The mapping exercise will also help provide critical information on the existence of the whale species off the Andhra Pradesh coastline for the researchers and academicians.

However, the fisheries and forest authorities will have to prepare a plan, avoiding any movement of the fishing vessels in the whale stranding locations to prevent their mortality.

“The CMFRI has recently attempted to rehabilitate the stranded whales off Kerala coast. Such initiatives can be done in Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with the Forest Department,” says Mr. Edward.

Mortality cases

Since 2013, the Andhra Pradesh coast has been witnessing a great number of cases of mortality of the whale species and many of the carcasses have been recovered by the Forest Department.

However, the exact reasons for the mortality of various whale species found off Visakhapatnam, Kalingapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam, and Nagayalanka in recent years are yet to established.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 8:39:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/cmfri-identifies-four-whale-stranding-locations-in-ap/article30758772.ece

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