A dead dolphin on Saturday washed up on a secluded beach in Bandar Abbas, a southern port city in Hormozgan Province, a senior official at the provincial Department of Environment said.
“Preliminary studies suggest the animal was injured by a boat’s propeller and succumbed to its wounds shortly after,” Afshin Asgari, the head of Marine Environment Office, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“There are indications that the animal died 10 days prior to being found. The carcass had begun to decompose when we found it.”
The animal was an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. The species generally lives in the waters around India, northern Australia, South China, the Red Sea and the eastern coast of Africa.
These dolphins feed on a wide variety of fish, including anchovy and cephalopods (particularly squid).
According to the official, in certain seasons, the population of anchovy increases rapidly in the region.
“The animal most likely ventured into the Persian Gulf to feed,” Asgari added.
Much of the old scientific stats in the field combine data about Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin and the common bottlenose dolphin into a single group, making it effectively useless in determining the structural differences between the two species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin as “data deficient” in their Red List of Endangered Species because of this issue.
Unfortunately, the species has faced higher fatality during recent years in southern shores, mostly due to lack of food. A huge amount of anchovy is harvested by illegal fishermen, making dolphins, anchovy’s natural predators, face food scarcity and death.