Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Concerns Mount as Dead Dolphins Wash Up on Shore

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Concerns Mount as Dead Dolphins Wash Up on Shore

Article excerpt

Byline: David Sparkes

Marine deaths

In April, 22 dead turtles found washed up at mouth of Boyne River.

May 9, dead dolphin found on Boyne Island.

May 15, dead dolphin found on Turtle Island.

People are encouraged to report all marine stranding and deaths to DERM on 1300 130 372.

DEBATE over deaths of marine animals in Gladstone Harbour could be about to flare up yet again.

Two dolphins have washed up dead within the space of a week, and neither shows any obvious cause of death.

Clive Last, caretaker at Turtle Island, stumbled upon the ugly spectre of a bloated, dead dolphin on May 15. He immediately reported the finding to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), who went to the scene.

Just one week earlier, another dead dolphin was found washed up on Boyne Island on May 9.

The Department for Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has confirmed both deaths.

A DERM spokesperson said QPWS was conducting an investigation into the cause of death for the dolphin found at Boyne Island. He said the dolphin at Turtle Island was too decomposed to determine its cause of death.

It is not yet known if there is a connection between the two, but Mr Last is deeply concerned by the discoveries.

C[pounds sterling]I was disappointed first off (to discover the dolphin), because you don't see too many dolphins dead on the beach,C[yen] he told The Observer. C[pounds sterling]I go out in the boat a lot, fishing and all that in the harbour, and you do get passionate about what happens in it.

C[pounds sterling]It's extremely unusual, because you just don't see dolphins washing up like this.C[yen]

Mr Last is concerned that the deaths might be linked to industrial activity in the region. C[pounds sterling]My big worry is there is pollution in the harbour,C[yen] he said. …

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