KARACHI: A 13-foot-long Bryde’s whale has been found dead at a remote rocky shore near Gunz, along the Balochistan coast on Friday.
The fishermen said that the live specimen was seen entangled in a fishing net offshore Daran on November 26. They said that an attempt to rescue the animal was made but they couldn’t succeed because of its weight.
Officials of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) said they reached the spot as the local fishermen informed them but couldn’t find the animal. After a search operation, the whale found was lying dead on an isolated rocky beach called Chill in the west of Gunz near Jiwani.
They said that the whale is one three baleen whales found in Pakistani waters. The other two are Blue whale and Arabian Humpback whale.
Sudheer Baloch, WWF-Pakistan coordinator based in Jiwani, said that the whale became entangled in a gillnet deployed by local fishermen to catch Indian mackerel near Gunz.
Expressing his concerns over the accidental mortality of the Bryde’s whale, Muhammad Moazzam Khan, Technical Advisor of the WWF-Pakistan, termed it a grave concern for the conservation community around the world.
He shared that the Bryde’s whale is one of small baleen whales known to be distributed in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.
Khan stressed that although this whale is categorised as a species of least concern, but taking into consideration its very small population in Pakistani waters, urgent steps are required for its conservation.
“Currently all cetaceans, including whales and dolphins, are protected under the fisheries legislation of Sindh and Balochistan,” he added.