Featured Image Credit: Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium
By: Sarah Sharkey
A right whale dolphin washed up on an Oregon beach earlier this summer. According to
experts, it is only the fourth sighting of this dolphin in over two decades on the Oregon coast.
The dolphin has a unique black and white pattern that distinguishes it from the similar body
type of the common bottlenose dolphin.
The body was taken from the beach by the Seaside Aquarium to Portland State University.
Experts will perform a necropsy in hopes of determining a cause of death.
These dolphins are extremely rare, but when spotted they are typically found in groups of 200
to 300 animals. Many times, the group can be found mingling with other dolphin and whale
Unfortunately, these dolphins have experienced a steep decline due to heavy drift net fishing in
the area. The nets are found in open ocean waters and the right whale dolphin is susceptible to
swimming straight into one and getting trapped.
Oregon and California both have laws that require fishermen to use warning sounds on their
nets. In theory, the dolphin would hear it and avoid the net. However, this doesn’t always work
and right whale dolphins are continuing decline. Hopefully something can be done to help these
dolphins before it is too late!
Learn more from the source.