09 June 2013

Dead striped dolphin in the Gulf of Corinth

Yesterday, during a striped dolphin sighting, Silvia spotted a seagull at the surface, far away, intently pecking at something that did not look like fish. We approached and found a dead striped dolphin floating adrift. She was a female, 151 cm long. There was no sign of the possible cause of mortality, such as external pathologies, wounds or signs of bycatch. The only wounds were caused post-mortem by the seagull.

We took photos, videos and a blubber sample, but decided not to perform a complete necropsy – as we would normally do in these cases. We were offshore, three hours away from our field station. Additionally, on that day we had accepted on board a girl, Emanuela, the young daughter of a Galaxidi mason, who said she was in love with dolphins. She had never seen one before, and we felt that for her it was hard enough to see a dead one on her first day at sea. We thus failed to collect important scientific information.

We went on with the survey, found another group of striped and common dolphins, and continued our photo-identification work. Emanuela went back home with mixed memories of life and death.

No comments: