Lebanon News

Specialists to probe death of dolphin

People check a dead dolphin on the shore in Ansarieh, April 1, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: When Mohammad al-Jundi, a resident of south Lebanon’s Adloun who lives 30 meters from the sea, saw that something had washed up on the municipality’s shores Monday, he feared it was a human body. “As I was sitting in my house on the beach, sipping my coffee, I saw a body being tossed by the waves,” he told The Daily Star.

“I rushed toward it, only to find out that it was a dead dolphin,” he added. “I took it out of the sea and put it onto the rocks.”

It was not immediately clear what had caused the animal’s death.

Images shared on social media subsequently alerted the Agriculture Ministry and specialist marine centers to the incident. They were set to send a team of research specialists Tuesday to take samples from the mammal, which is believed to be a common bottlenose dolphin.

Jundi, who said he was a sailor, expressed belief that despite the unfortunate find, it could be an indicator of an overall more positive situation.

“The presence of dolphins in the south’s sea is a sign that marine life is good,” he claimed, “and that people are preserving and protecting marine diversity.”

Professional diver Mohammad al-Sarji said dolphins were flourishing along south Lebanon’s shores.

“There are many dolphins in our sea, living in families and groups that sometimes reach 50 or 60 dolphins,” he said.

“Sometimes they appear on the water’s surface, either near the beach and or in the deeps,” he added.

The research specialists hope to establish the dolphin’s cause of death and to take steps to prevent similar cases occurring in the future, according to the state-run National News Agency. - Writing by Jacob Boswall

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 02, 2019, on page 3.




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