Complicated rescue in the trap of La Azohía (Cartagena), where two bottlenose dolphins were trapped on Sunday. It is not the first time that it has happened, but this time several swordfish also entered that complicated the release of the cetaceans. Finally, it was necessary to cut the net at one end of the codend, this Monday morning, and help the animals from the inside so that they could find their way out, reports the Association of Southeast Naturalists (ANSE). Previously, The trap workers carried out a first ‘levada’ to remove part of the fish of commercial interest, such as a small school of melvas.
While the trap staff were busy maneuvering to free the two captive dolphins, two other specimens approached the ancient fishing gear. The photographs taken by ANSE have made it possible to identify one of the dolphins from among the catalog of 699 different individuals obtained over more than 20 years of work in the sea with cetaceans. It is the bottlenose dolphin TT831, observed for the first time from the sailboat ‘Else’ interacting with artisanal fishing off Torrevieja on April 28, 2019, along with 15 other specimens. It was observed for the second time on October 6, 2019 near the aquaculture farms of San Pedro del Pinatar, this time apparently alone.
At the liberation of the animals they have attended several technicians from the Oceanogràfic of Valencia, who are working on a project on the health status and satellite tagging of bottlenose dolphins in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Naturalists, as well as a technician from the General Directorate of Natural Environment and a veterinarian from the Wildlife Recovery Center of the Autonomous Community.
ANSE thanks the captain of the trap and its owner “for their understanding and agreement to release the dolphins together with several swordfish, facilitating at all times the taking of images to check if they were specimens registered in the ANSE catalog, and regardless of the possible economic loss«.
The southern coast of the Region of Murcia has one of the most extensive Special Conservation Areas (ZEC) for bottlenose dolphins on the Spanish coasts, called Submarine Valleys of the Escarpe de Mazarrón, with a surface area of 154,080 hectares, with breeding populations of bottlenose dolphins with which ANSE has been working for more than two decades.
ANSE develops this year different activities within the framework of the project ‘Evaluation of interactions between bottlenose dolphins and South and Southeast fisheries in marine protected areas for integrated management (Indelpesur)’, “Which will continue and complement the work carried out during 2019 to improve knowledge of this species and its relationship with fishing, especially artisanal and purse-seine fishing in marine protected areas and adjacent waters,” explains the environmental organization.
The Indelpesur project is developed in collaboration with the Biodiversity Foundation (Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge), through the Pleamar program, co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. During the campaigns there is the collaboration of the Azul Marino Foundation.
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