Fishermen rescue dolphin trapped in fishing net off Balochistan coast

The three-metre-long mammal was caught in a gillnet placed for tuna


Our Correspondent May 26, 2017
Bottlenose dolphins are the most common of the 22 species of cetaceans found in Pakistan. PHOTO: WWF Pakistan

KARACHI: Fishermen trained in rescuing sea creatures by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pakistan rescued a bottlenose dolphin trapped in a fishing net near Malan Island off the coast of Balochistan.

The three-metre-long dolphin, locally known as tushuk, was caught in a gillnet placed for tuna, said fisherman Hasnat Khan whose crew rescued the animal on Wednesday.

The dolphin was struggling to escape and as soon as the fishing crew noticed it, they stopped their operations. “After a struggle of about half an hour, we cut the net and safely rescued the dolphin,” said Khan.

Dolphins are extremely vulnerable to becoming entangled in fishing nets. Once they are stuck, they cannot swim up to the surface for air and end up dying.

Two Indus dolphins rescued

According to Muhammad Moazzam Khan, the WWF-Pakistan’s technical adviser for marine fisheries, over 100 fishermen working in Pakistani waters have been trained to rescue marine animals if they are stuck in nets.

Moazzam said every year a large number of dolphins become entangled in gillnets across the world, but as they are considered sacred animals, fishermen did not kill them.

"The WWF-Pakistan trains fishermen to make all efforts possible to protect marine megafauna including whales, dolphins, whale sharks, sunfishes, mobula rays and turtles," he added.

“Hundreds of these animals are safely released back into the sea every year by these trained fishermen."

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common of the 22 species of cetaceans, including whales and dolphins, found in Pakistan.

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