Whale deaths: Odisha to seek MoEF intervention

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the death of two whales whose carcasses were found along the sea coast in Odisha’s Ganjam and Kendrapara districts, the State Environment and Forest department has decided to apprise the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoEF) of the unusual death of the giant marine mammals.

Reports said the carcass of a whale measuring 33 feet in length with a diameter of 12 feet was sighted at Podampetta coast in Ganjam district on February 3 while the carcass of another whale measuring 66 feet in length was found at Chinchiri mouth at Rajnagar in Kendrapara district on February 5.

Prior to this, carcasses of more than 60 whales were sighted along the coast in Tamil Nadu a month ago.

“There might be some problem in the deep sea which has led to the death of over 60 whales along the Tamil Nadu coast, one along the Mahatrashtra coast and now two along the Odisha coast. We will write to the MoEF to take necessary steps to ascertain the problems in the deep sea to prevent the death of these giant mammals,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Sibasaran Srivastava told OTV today.

According to Bijay Kumar Sahu, a marine expert of the state, discharge of industrial effluents could be the reason of the death of the whales. Referring to the death of a whale along Podampetta coast in Ganjam district, he said since there is no industry in this area, it can be said that the climatic change might be the other reason.

In the meanwhile the environmentalists have expressed grave concern over the large scale death of the Olive Ridley sea turtles along the Gahirmatha coast.

The locals have blamed the Forest department for the death of these giant turtles.

“There has been no restriction on the movement of fishing trawlers that are fishing inside the prohibited area resulting in the death of Ridley turtles. The environment of this area has been thoroughly polluted due to the decomposed carcasses which are being eaten by the stray dogs,” said Pramod Pradhan, a local inhabitant.

Asked about the matter, Rajnagar DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya said the death of Olive Ridley turtles along the Gahirmatha coast is not a new phenomenon as it continues for years.

Stating that more than 700 Ridley turtles have died yesterday, he said the reason of the death is manifold.