Mumbai: Dolphins delight fisherman at Sassoon Dock

Updated: Jan 19, 2019, 16:12 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

A pod of the marine animals was spotted close to the shore, but the fisherman's bad quality phone camera was unable to capture the beauties in action

Mumbai: Dolphins delight fisherman at Sassoon Dock
Fisherman Nichal Nakwa's shot of the dolphin

While Mumbaikars and tourists on ferries between Mumbai and Alibaug and from Gateway of India to Elephant Caves have to keep their eyes peeled for a glimpse of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin, a group of dolphins gave a delighted local fisherman from the Sassoon Dock a small performance a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, the fisherman, Nichal Nakhwa's poor quality phone camera could not capture the dolphins' antics.

Ganesh Nakhwa, vice-president, Maharashtra Purse Seine Net Fisherman Welfare Association, told mid-day, "On January 16 , Nakhwa spotted a pod of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins near Sassoon Dock. While he could not take better quality images or videos of them because of his bad phone camera, the sighting of these beautiful creatures is always a visual treat."

An Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. Pic/Abhishek Jamalabad
An Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. Pic/Abhishek Jamalabad

Nakhwa also said that while these dolphins cause losses to fishermen as they eat the small fish inside the nets, the community members always ensure that the dolphins are never hurt. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin is listed in the endangered category. Experts say that dolphins are an endangered cetacean species and are protected under the Scheduled I of the Wildlife Protection Act , 1972 and this species prefer to stay in shallow waters.

Pradip Patade, one of the founders of Marine Life of Mumbai (MLOM) Group, said, "The sighting of the dolphin in winter is a good sign but these sightings have been common and many people including tourists travelling to Mandwa from Ferry Wharf and Gateway of India to Elephanta caves have spotted them." Patade said that there have been reports of dolphin sightings on the west coast of Mumbai between Girgaum and Nariman Point, too. In May 2018 , the same species was apparently also spotted between Madh Island and Versova jetty.

Marine biologist Abhishek Jamalabad said, "Sightings of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin are common on the east coast of Mumbai. Last year, they were sighted very close to the Haji Ali coast, too. Dolphin pods [as these animals travel in groups] have been seen regularly off Marine Drive as well. This species of dolphin prefers shallow waters close to the coast, so are frequently sighted. It is great that people are documenting their sightings as this can be of great help to marine research."

Marine Biologist Abhishek Jamalabad said, "Sightings of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin are common on the east coast of Mumbai on the ferry routes between Ferry Wharf and Mandwa and also between Gateway of India and Elephanta Caves . In the year 2018, a pod of the species was sighted, with good videos, very close to the Haji Ali coast too. Pods have been seen regularly off marine drive as well. This species of dolphin prefers to stay in a belt of shallow water close to the coast, and so are frequently sighted in this zone. It is great that people are documenting their sightings - this can be of great help to marine research."

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