14 dead dolphins on the west coast in ten days in Marbella, Spain
The image is repeated every year, especially in summer. Bathers attend astonished the presence of a dolphin on the shore of the beach. Sometimes and thanks to the rapid intervention of individuals, municipalities and professionals of the Aula del Mar in Malaga, the animal is saved and can return to the sea in a short time. In others, it is already too late and he dies on the beach or is even found lifeless floating in the sea. The phenomenon is not new, but the professionals of the Marine Species Recovery Center threatened (CREMA) of the Aula del Mar have alerted them to the high number of cases registered in a short period of time, just a few weeks, in the stretch from the coast from Manilva to Marbella-Mijas.
And this happens, paradoxically, in a year characterized so far by an exceptionally low number of animals rescued. So far, 45 animals, when the average in Malaga ranges between 70 and 100 animals each year. «The period between August and September is usually the most intense in terms of records» from the Aula del Mar, «since it coincides with the end of summer, weaning and birth of young dolphins, especially common and striped dolphins, the most abundant in these waters », they point out.
Although the professionals speak of a “natural phenomenon”, they also point out that such a concentration of dead animals in such a short space of time deserves a follow-up and study.
Once the individuals or beach guards identify the presence of one of these animals, notice is given both to the municipal authorities and to the CREMA technicians. At the municipal level, the Health and Beaches areas are the first to intervene. The councilor responsible for the latter, Manuel Cardeña, shares the concern with this phenomenon and points to a situation of “overpopulation” of dolphins in the coast of Malaga, who are increasingly coming to the shore to look for food, which translates into Strandings
Climate change is no stranger either. And as experts from the Oceanographic Center, the Union for the Conservation of Nature (UICN), the Aula del Mar and the Junta de Andalucía have highlighted, the rise in water temperature is felt in the area, which it is related to a reduction in fishing; the proliferation of invasive species and others, such as jellyfish; and the risk of stranding of cetaceans, among others.
Special mention deserves, as pointed out in his report by the veterinarian of the Aula del Mar, the contamination by toxic substances and the presence of plastics in the marine environment, being these the most damaging effects that we cause in this environment. In this sense, pollution by plastic, he says, is taking “special relevance” since it produces “toxins released by the sea, small pieces of plastic that can be ingested by all animals and large pieces of plastic that can cause suffocation or strangulation in different species ».
Throughout the history of the records made by the Center for the Recovery of Threatened Marine Species “whales, dolphins and turtles have been found affected in some way or another by the presence of plastics in the sea.”
Courtesy of diariosur.es