Humans implicated in multiple dolphin deaths

Snubfin dolphins found dead north of Townsville, Qld

Snubfin dolphins found dead north of Townsville, Qld

Human interference has been linked to multiple deaths of dolphins in recent months in Australia.  In December two neonate bottlenose dolphin calves were found to have fatal injuries from human interference.  One was found washed up on the Portsea Back Beach in Victoria, suffering a major trauma to its skull and jaw including a broken mandible.  Local tour operators informed the ABC that they believe jet skiers have intentionally targeted dolphins in the area. Seven News reported similar claims of jet skiers jumping over dolphins in Port Phillip Bay. However the Department of Sustainability & Environment are hoping that the death of the two-month old calf was not deliberate but an accident.

In December 2010, a neonate bottlenose dolphin calf was found floating off Surfers Paradise, Queensland.  The calf was found by lifesavers and had multiple knife wounds across its body. 

 These disturbing incidents precede the disturbing deaths of two dolphins in the central and northern Queensland regions. Two snubfin dolphins were found tied and weighed down to a mangrove just north of Townsville in June.  This was in an apparent attempt to conceal the dolphins after being killed in fishing nets. These deaths are of great concern for the survival of the threatened snubfin dolphins (featured in our Dolphin Echo fact file in winter 2010). 

If anyone sees a stranded or injured dolphin, please contact your local authorities immediately.

Sources: Sunday Mail, ABC News