30 marine animals stranded throughout 2019: A message from the sea

Illustration of a whale. (Photo by TR Davis on Unsplash)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – During 2015 to 2019, there were at least 55 incidents of stranded sea animals. In fact, in 2019 alone 30 cases were found, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) reported as quoted in Jakarta on Saturday.

Of the 30 cases of stranded marine animals, 20 of them occurred in East Java.

In July 2019, LIPI received a report about a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) stranded on the beach in a carcass divided into pieces. Pieces of animal skin scattered in several places and no bones were found.

Due to such a condition, LIPI failed to bring the humpback whale’s skeleton into a scientific collection of the Zoologicum Bogoriense Museum.

The remaining body parts of the humpback whale are only a few vertebrae, upper skulls and jaws which are kept in the office of the East Java Natural Resources Conservation Section in Probolinggo, East Java.

Then, on the 9th and 16th of September 2019, there were two spotted sharks stranded on Kajaran Beach and Bambang Beach in Lumajang Regency, East Java.

When the LIPI team arrived at the site of the spotted shark carcass, it was buried in two different places.

Furthermore, on September 16, 2019, a spotted shark got lost in the waters near the Paiton Steam Power Plant (PLTU), Probolinggo Regency, East Java.

On September 20, the Latin spotted shark Rhincodon typus which entered the Rhincodontidae family of the Chondrichthyes class was successfully driven out of the waters around the Paiton power plant.

These spotted sharks and rays are in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and considered as the Endangered (EN) category.

“Spotted sharks are categorized as threatened species. If there is no safety effort,  these animals can be categorized as critically endangered,”said the Head of Zoology at the LIPI Biology Research Center, Cahyo Rahmadi.

Under the Decree of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, now a spotted shark is declared as a type with full protection. Whereas the humpback whale is considered as the least concern category or has a low risk level because the population is increasing.

30 marine animals stranded throughout 2019: A message from the sea
A spotted shark was stranded on the beach. (The Indonesian Institute of Sciences-LIPI)

Message from the sea

The earth is getting older, but the burden is never decreasing along with human activities that are increasingly dense. However, nature cannot speak to complain about how much damage is to the natural habitat of marine animals that are stranded on the beach.

Therefore, these sea animals “swim” until they arrive at the beach.

“There is a message that the sea wants to convey to us,” Cahyo said.

The LIPI zoological researcher explained that the increase in the number of stranded marine animals indicated serious problems that are currently unknown.

“Changes in the marine ecosystem due to climate change, pollution, over-exploitation, changes in sea use, and the entry of invasive foreign materials into the sea must be taken into serious consideration,” he said.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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