2 dead whales wash up on Bangladesh beach

Their deaths are believed to be due to sea pollution

COX’S BAZAR :Two dead whales have washed up on the same stretch of Bangladesh coastline in two days, officials said today, raising suggestions that they were killed by sea pollution.

Officials said the second, much longer whale washed up on Himchhari Beach, outside the resort city of Cox’s Bazar, at around 8.30am today, just a day after the carcass of another Bryde’s whale was found two kilometres from the spot.

“The carcass of the whale found today is at least 16m long and 3m wide. It weighs three-four tonnes,” Jahirul Islam, executive director of the Cox’s Bazar-based Marine Life Alliance, said.

Islam said the whales could have been killed in a collision with a ship plying the Bay of Bengal, or have died after eating plastics which litter the sea.

“Primarily we think the two have died from consuming plastic and polluted objects. There is an injury mark on the back of the second whale. We suspect it could have been hit by a high-speed vessel,” Islam said.

Mohammad Shahidul Alam, a professor at the Institute of Marine Science and Fisheries, says parts of the Bay of Bengal are seriously polluted, and that could have led to the animals’ demise. – AFP pic

Mohammad Shahidul Alam, a professor at the Institute of Marine Science and Fisheries, said parts of the Bay of Bengal are seriously polluted, and that could have led to the animals’ demise.

A spokesman for Bangladesh’s Environment and Forestry Department said its researchers had collected samples from the carcasses for post-mortem examinations.

Two similar whales also washed up on Cox’s Bazar beaches in 1996 and 2006.

AFP

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