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Body of dwarf fin whale washes ashore south of Phuket

Body of dwarf fin whale washes ashore south of Phuket

PHUKET: Officers from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) are hoping to determine what killed an infant dwarf fin whale – also called an Omura’s whale – whose body was found washed ashore just north of Koh Lanta yesterday (Jan 6).

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 7 January 2020, 06:44PM

Local fisherman Sakda Thaweemuang reported finding the whale’s carcass washed ashore at Thung Talay Beach, in Moo 3, Tambon Koh Klang, on the mainland just north of Koh Lanta, reported the DMCR.

The whale measured 3.6 metres long. It had scratches on its body and its lower jaw was broken, the officers noted.

The whale’s remains were taken for further examination to determine the cause of death, said the DMCR report.

Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, lamented the loss of the infant whale.

Full grown Omura’s whales grow to about 11m long, Dr Thon said in a post online.

They are rare in Thai waters – even rarer than Bryde’s whales, he added.

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“There are only 15-20 of them in Thailand. We do not have an exact number of them,” he said.

The existence Omura’s whales, along with many other treasured marine species, is under threat by human activities, Dr Thon pointed out.

“So the Omura’s whale, Bryde's whale and other whales are already protected under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019,” he wrote.

“To save this type of whale, we all have to stop reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the ocean,” he said.

“Since the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019 cane into force in November last year, we have already lost three types of protected animals, including whale shark, a leatherback turtle and now this Omura’s whale. We also lost 23 dugongs last year,” Dr Thon wrote.

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