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Second Irrawaddy dolphin death in Borneo linked to fishing nets

03 / 10 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

SAMARINDA, Indonesia — Activists in eastern Borneo suspect that an Irrawaddy dolphin found dead on a local beach last month had probably been snagged in a fishing net. This is the second documented death of the endangered species from suspected net entanglement in the waters of East Kalimantan province this year. News of the discovery, which occurred in the province’s North Penajam Paser district on Sept. 13, first broke after a resident posted pictures online of the dead animal. A team of local authorities and environmental experts were deployed the following day to investigate. The decomposing body of an Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) was found in eastern Borneo last month. Photo courtesy of Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia (RASI). The dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) is believed to have died several days earlier, according to Maulana, an activist from the conservation group Rare Aquatic Species of Indonesia (RASI) who was part of the investigation team. “We buried the animal not too far from where it was found,” he said. RASI marine biologist Danielle Kreb said injuries on the dolphin’s body appeared to be consistent with entanglement in a fishing net, which most likely caused its death. She said local fishermen sometimes ignored their bycatch — other animals ensnared in their nets — which could include this threatened species. Getting caught in fishing nets is among the major threats to the species, whose population is estimated at fewer than 100 individuals per river in a few Southeast Asian rivers, including the Irrawaddy in…

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