Friday, September 14, 2012

Another shocking wounded Pink Dolphin photo!

TW-111, seen on 21st July with a new open wound probably from entanglement in a fishing net.*

Another shocking Taiwan pink dolphin injury photo has been forwarded to us by researchers. The photo shows dolphin (TW-111) photographed on July 21 with a very serious injury. The injury would likely have been caused while pulling itself free from entanglement in a net. The wound is very deep. You can clearly see where the epaxial muscles (lighter colour in this photo) and the blubber layer (the thin darker layer) are separated.

This animal was last photographed on July 6 and did not show the wound at that time so the injury must have been between that date and July 21st.

Another very disturbing thought is the open wound in those nasty waters.

At the 2007 international workshop on the pink dolphins scientists identified five major threats to the Taiwan pink dolphins:
- by-catch in fishing gear;
- reclamation of estuarine and coastal regions for industrial purposes;
- diversion and extraction of freshwater from major river systems of western Taiwan;
- release of industrial, agricultural and municipal effluent into rivers and coastal waters;
- noise and disturbance associated with construction, shipping and military activities

There is overwhelming evidence that by-catch and entanglement are happening. If the issues isn't addressed immediately then it would appear that these critically endangered dolphins are doomed to be lost through by-catch and entanglement within just the next few years.

Also see:
Shocking Truth: The fatal reality of entanglement and bycatch for the Taiwan Pink Dolphins

*Photo courtesy and copyright FormosaCetus.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cancellation of KK gets mention in the IUCN's Species Magazine

The Dacheng Wetlands which was to be the site of the Kuokuang Petrochemical project.

The cancellation of the Kuokuang Petrochemical project in April last year has made it into the the latest edition of the IUCN's bi-annual magazine, Species Magazine issue 54. There is a brief mention in the Cetacean Specialist Group report on page 41. The Kuokuang Petrochemical Project would have seen the Dacheng wetlands (Changhua County) destroyed through a land reclamation project to house the Kuokuang Petrochemical Refinery. The Dacheng Wetlands on the west-central coast are an internationally listed IBA (important bird area). The loss of the wetlands and construction of a petrochemical plant would have effectively divided the habitat of the critically endangered Taiwan Pink Dolphins in two.