Dolphins beached on west coast

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Frank Gale
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Barry Nash is not sure why dolphins continue to beach themselves on sandbars in the Main Gut and Rothesay Bay areas, but said some are not surviving.

A dead dolphin was spotted Tuesday on a sandbar in Main Gut, not far from the Barachois Search and Rescue building on West Street in Stephenville Crossing.

Nash, the search and rescue team’s co-ordinator, said this one was only a short distance from where a dolphin was rescued one week earlier using an air boat to bring it to deeper waters near Main Gut Bridge.

“While I can’t be positive it’s the same dolphin, what I really can’t understand is why these animals are returning to the same place and getting stranded,” he said.

His team was involved in the rescue efforts of seven dolphins at Rocky Point in Rothesay Bay on the day previous to the lone dolphin rescue. On that evening it was too late for an eighth dolphin that was beached.

Nash said he also heard about a dead dolphin being spotted on a shoal off Mattis Point in the Main Gut area Wednesday.

“Whatever’s in their mind to go up on shore like that, I can’t say,” he said. “I guess if they’re hell bent on committing suicide, that’s what they’re going to do.”

Still, he said the team will help out whenever members are called upon to do so if they hear of any of these animals in distress.

Nash also heard of another incident Tuesday of two stranded dolphins in low water at Sandy Point near St. George’s, where some concerned citizens were said to be helping them back into deeper water.

At deadline it was not known whether or not those two dolphins survived.

The Western Star

Geographic location: West Street, Rocky Point, Rothesay Bay Mattis Point Sandy Point Western Star

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  • Kevin Mark Bauer
    July 26, 2014 - 20:08

    I think the reason Mammals are beaching themselves is due to the migrating Magnetic Poles which they depend upon for their Navigation. The South Magnetic Pole has not travelled as far as the North yet but the North is Boogeying towards Siberia at approximately 40 Miles/Year and expected to reach Siberia by 2020...that has to have a major impact on Mammals and Birds sense of direction when following their Migratory paths. Peace Y

  • Lee Nguyen
    July 25, 2014 - 05:56

    Is anyone asking the questions: Were there any military exercises in the area - using powerful sonar that is proven able to injure, kill or compel cetaceans to beach out of the water? Was there any seismic exploration using sonar blasts that also similarly drive cetaceans out of the water? Ongoing seismic activity for oil or gas exploration (which can be compared to underwater bomb detonations every 10 seconds - 24/7) can lead to multiple strandings in an area, such as described here. Escaping from something that may be killing them is not really committing suicide, although it may appear that way. Were the dead necropsied for ear, brain or other internal injury indicative of acoustic trauma? In cases of multiple strandings such as these, we need to look for cause. Cetaceans in the wild don't typically commit suicide; in the misery of captivity that is a different story. There are cases of orcas ramming themselves into concrete tank walls (apparently in an attempt escape) and committing suicide this way. One well known case involved "Cathy", one of the Flipper dolphins who committed suicide by consciously holding her breath, she died, then sank to the bottom of her confinement tank. This is probably not appear to be a case of dolphins committing suicide. I hope an answer is found, and that no more strandings occur.

    • Kevin Mark Bauer
      July 26, 2014 - 20:14

      That is also a very good theory as to why they are beaching themselves...not only the Military but also Oil Companies looking for reserves on the Ocean floor are using harsh Sonic Equipment which would definitely stress the Mammals...or could be a combination of the travelling Magnetic Poles and the use of Sonics...no way to tell for sure. Peace Y