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45 dead dolphins wash ashore in Oman

Expert says deaths could be caused by lack of oxygen in water or oil spills

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Muscat: More than 45 dolphins were washed ashore in Khabourah province during the past two weeks, according to residents.

Residents demanded that authorities bury the dead dolphins as a stench was starting to develop from the carcasses.

Pictures of the dead dolphins went viral on the social media, with many users demanding that the authorities intervene and deal with the issue.

Reasons behind the death are not yet clear.

Ahmad Al Beloushi, an environmental expert, told Gulf News that one of the reasons may be that many dolphins swim towards the shores and cannot go back to the sea.

He also attributed the deaths to a shortage of oxygen during red tide, adding that oil spills from ships also lead to suffocation of the fish in general.

Some fishermen throw their fishing nets near the shores and trap dolphins, said Al Beloushi.

An official at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs told Gulf News that a team has been formed to tackle the issue.

The team of experts will head this week to Khabourah shores to investigate the issue and take samples from the dead dolphins.

Dolphins are widespread in Omani waters, particularly off Muscat, Musandam and Wusta governorates.

Indian Ocean dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, risso’s dolphins, spinner dolphins, long-beaked dolphins and stripped dolphins are the types of dolphins found in Oman’s waters.

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