Dead dolphins a threat to the ecosystem in Mozambique

By:George Honzeri

At least 100 dolphins were found dead off the coast of Mozambique yesterday which is a serious threat to aquatic life and the general ecosystem.

86 more carcases were also discovered at Bazaruto Island, north of the capital Maputo on Tuesday.

Dolphins are important to the ecosystem in the sense that they are top level predators which control populations of fish and squids balancing the ecosystem.

Mostly , the bottlenose dolphins have been identified as sentinels of the coastal marine ecosystems ,because they consume a wide variety of fishes and squids ,they absorb pollutants in their bodies when there are high concentrations of contaminants in the so scientist can have an idea of the status of the marine environment.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, there are at least 39 species of dolphins.

Sick, injured or dead dolphins are a big indicator that something is wrong in their environment that also affects the safety and health of other ocean creatures, as well as humans.

The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies says that dolphins are important in marine food chains and act as bio-indicators.

Water pollution from agricultural, residential and industrial effluent is usually the main cause of sickness in dolphins leading to their death.

Dolphins are a protected marine species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.

They are regarded as one of the most intelligent marine animal.

Samples of the dead dolphins in Mozambique were sent to a laboratory in Maputo where investigations are underway.

Last year, 52 dead dolphins were found on the coast of the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius.

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