An endangered juvenile female dolphin was found dead from a shotgun wound after it washed ashore on the Bosphorus coast in Istanbul’s Bebek district on May 26.
Following a tip from locals that they had found the dead dolphin on the shoreline, Marine mammal specialists from the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TÜDAV) discovered the juvenile female bottlenose dolphin (tursiops truncatus), which had a height of 168 centimeters, had been killed with a shotgun, which left six holes in her body.
The TÜDAV has issued a notification to the authorized bodies for an investigation to be opened and the perpetrators be found.
Specialists determined the dolphin, whose Black Sea
population has been categorized as “endangered,” was killed by at least a single shot sidewise, which left six holes with smooth edges on the body, while one piece of birdshot was removed from the animal’s carcass. The birdshot had dismembered the lungs, penetrated past the ribs and eventually caused internal bleeding.
TÜDAV Vice Director Arda Tonay said fishing vessels which have been active in the Bosphorus in the past 48 hours needed to be integrated into the investigation.
Tonay said marine mammals inside Turkish territorial waters were protected by the Fisheries Act as well as international agreements, but an urgent meeting needed to be convened in order to take effective protection measures for endangered animals and enable judicial proceedings in line with current national and international laws.
“We suggest that relevant ministries should finally put up a reward in cases of intentional killing of endangered animals… We demand the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry to forbid all kinds of licensed and unlicensed guns and rifles on fishing vessels and add this article to amateur and commercial fishing regulations as soon as possible,” Tonay said.