SOME eighty-six dolphins, including two calves that were approximately just days old, died after beaching on Hottentot Bay, some 40 Kilometers north of Lüderitz.
As a result, the fisheries ministry has launched an investigation to determine why and exactly when the Dusky Dolphins beached.
The decomposed dolphins were discovered on Friday by Commercial Lobster fishermen at the Hottentot Bay, an extremely isolated area that forms part of the Namib Desert.
According to Kolette Grobler, a Marine Biologist, while it would be difficult to establish the exact cause of death as the dolphins were severely decomposed at the time of their discovery, it is estimated that the dolphins had been dead for about a week before they were found.
The Dusky dolphins are an off-shore species and are rarely seen near the bay.
“We arranged to go there with our researchers on Saturday. There are no roads leading to the bay. You can only go through the dunes or by sea and so we went by sea. It is difficult to establish the cause of death but we are busy investigating when exactly these dolphins died. We suspect that one of them was injured or got sick and called on the others for help and this might have caused them to accidentally beach themselves. We, unfortunately, could not take samples due to the decomposition, but we took water samples to determine if the dolphins ate toxic plankton,” She said.
Grobler warned that the meat isn’t fit for human consumption, adding that jackals and seagulls could feast on it.
The dolphins have since been disposed of by health and animal officials.