Pennington Bay dolphin mortality – Kym Lashmar; KINRMB

Dolphin markings - Kym Lashmar; KINRMB

Two dolphins washed up on Pennington Bay on the South Coast of Kangaroo Island, overlooking the Southern Ocean on Saturday 19th March. Staff from the Department for Environment and Natural Resources attended but were only able to retrieve information from one body as the other was washed out prior to their arrival. Markings around the rostrum and head of the dead dolphin indicated activity by a large octopus or squid as the image shows. This raised conjecture about the cause of death which is still unclear, but other damage seems to indicate a possible trawl fishery mortality. Sardine trawling involvement is possible although this is a well regulated, supportive industry which uses observers and diligently reports dolphin situations. The possibility that the mortalities occurred a great distance away in the Great Australian Bight off the Continental Shelf cannot be ruled out. A global callout for information and suggestions has resulted in significant scientific interest and input. Pennington Bay is one of KI Dolphin Watch’s observation sites where land based monitoring is employed.