Blast fishing kills baby dolphin in Leyte

TACLOBAN CITY — The stranded baby dolphin injured by blast fishing died early Wednesday morning while being treated by local fishery officials in Ormoc City, said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the dolphin calf died two days after it was rescued.

“The male dolphin had abrasions on his body. The stranding was due to acoustic trauma caused by blast fishing since the inner ear drum was damaged,” Albaladejo said in a mobile phone interview.

Acoustic trauma is an injury to the inner ear that’s often caused by exposure to a very loud noise such as explosives.

“Since its rescue last Monday, there has been a clear manifestation that the baby dolphin is unstable and not due for release anytime soon,” the BFAR official said.

A fishermen rescued the 131-centimeter baby dolphin on the shallow part of the sea Monday afternoon in Macabug village.

Experts administered antibiotics and use plastic containers as floating device to help the dolphin regain its buoyancy.

Albaladejo said they expected more sightings of marine mammals, especially in Leyte Gulf and Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte due to climate change. The mammals are sighted in Eastern Visayas region, which faces the Pacific Ocean.

A stranded marine mammal refers to one that has beached or run aground and is helpless or has lost the capability to return to its natural habitat.  Sarwell Meniano/PNA-northboundasia.com