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Another finless porpoise found dead off Clearwater Bay

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Photo: Ocean Park Conservation Fund

On 28 December, an adult female finless porpoise was found stranded on the shores of Clear Water Bay Country Club. It had suffered injuries to its head from drifting fishing nets, and thus was suspected to have died of suffocation. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation “Cetacean Stranding Action Group” arrived at the scene and took away the dolphin corpse for inspection, to better understand the cause of death. This was the second case within a week of finless porpoise strandings near Clearwater Bay..

Hong Kong Ocean Park Conservation Foundation spokesman said later, after the preliminary inspection, that they had verified that it was an adult female finless porpoise, about 1.74 metres long, with its  head  wrapped in a discarded fishing net. The corpse was badly decomposed.

This was the second time in a week that a porpoise carcasses was found in the Sai Kung marine area. The last time, on 22 December, members of the public found a 1.42 m long adult male porpoise stranded on the rocky shore of Wang Chau. Within Hong Kong four such deaths have occurred this month.

This is further evidence of the effect of “ghost nets” on local marine life. AFCD recently organised contractors to clean up the area and took away 176 kg and 98 kg of nets for disposal in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Local civil society conservation groups mount regular clean-up exercises and retrieve similar amounts.

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