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Three marine animal carcasses wash ashore at Juhu, 13 cases in 2017 so far in Mumbai

On Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, Juhu resident Reagan Creado spotted carcasses of porpoises and the turtles at the beach near Novotel and Citizen hotels

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2017 09:01 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai news,mumbai beaches
The finless porpoise that washed ashore at Juhu.(HT)

Three carcasses of marine mammals have washed ashore at Juhu beach since Saturday.

On Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, Juhu resident Reagan Creado spotted carcasses of porpoises and the turtles at the beach near Novotel and Citizen hotels. “All the bodies were decomposing. It looked like they died sometime back,” he said.

This takes the count of marine carcasses that have washed ashore in Mumbai to 13 this year.

HT had reported in April that the carcasses of six marine species, four Olive Ridley turtles and two dead Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins washed ashore at various beaches - Juhu, Versova and Vasai - along the city’s coastline.

Morning walkers and joggers at Juhu beach have been spotting recurring cases of marine animal carcasses washing ashore. Between May 6 and May 9, decomposed bodies of two Olive Ridley turtles and one finless porpoise had washed ashore on the beach.

The decomposed carcass of a turtle. ( HT )

In the past two years alone, close to 50 dolphin carcasses, six whale carcasses and a few finless porpoises have washed ashore along the the Mumbai and Maharashtra coasts. The reasons for their deaths remains unknown.

“These carcasses are mostly dumped or picked up by traders and sold. They can be easily used for research to identify the cause of so many deaths,” said Creado.

Another resident said that the high tide swept all the carcasses back into the sea. “This year, the frequency of these incidents has risen with cases seen every month,” said Giriraj Ashtekar, resident of Juhu Koliwada.

While there have been a number of speculations, researchers said there was need for proper scientific studies to establish the reason for so many deaths. “We do not know whether these deaths are natural or due to some other causes. If it is because of pollution, there needs to be a toxicology report. However, none of this is available,” said Might Sule, member, Konkan Cetacean Research team, that has been studying marine mammals in south Maharashtra over the last year. “There is, however, more awareness among people to report such cases and we now have a data bank.”

Meanwhile, the state government has already allocated Rs1 crore for studying marine biodiversity issues along the Maharashtra coast. “By the end of this year, we should have answers for such recurring cases. Studies along several districts have already begun and the issue will be mitigated soon,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell.

First Published: May 10, 2017 09:43 IST