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February 4, 2012

Frequent sightings of Dolphins in Port Klang

By STUART MICHAEL
Photos by FAIHAN GHANI

Although dolphins are rarely seen in this part of the region, lately there have been frequent sightings of these mammals off Port Klang, Pulau Kelang and Westport.

Fishermen have seen pods of dolphins in around the islands off Port Klang.

Recently, during a boat ride StarMetro reporter Stuart Michael had a chance to see and follow pods of dolphins along the shipping lane near Westport and Pulau Kelang.

A group five of dolphins was spotted near Westport, swimming around fishing nets that were placed by fishermen earlier along the shipping lane.

dolphin sighted in port klang
Picture perfect: An Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin spotted near Pulau Kelang, off Port Klang.

Half-an-hour later, another three pods of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were spotted off Pulau Kelang feeding and playing.

The dolphin species seen in Malaysian waters are the Indo-Pacific humpback, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose, Irrawaddy, Long-beaked common and Spinner dolphins.

Our boatman followed the pod for an hour but the dolphins always kept a distance of at least 20m to 50m away from the boat.

When the dolphins are near the boat, the fishermen would change their spot because they know that the fish would have moved away to another area.

Most fishermen who placed nets along the area would not harm the dolphins as they know it is a protected species.

According to Selangor Forestry Department ranger Ismail Ibrahim, 55, who has been patrolling this area since 1984 looking for mangrove thieves, this is a rare sight.

“However, I noticed that there are more dolphins coming to Port Klang compared with five years ago.

“One of the reasons could be that there are a lot fish in our seas and efforts in saving the mangrove forests have helped to increase breeding spots.

dolphin spotted in port klang
Star attraction: The dolphins spotted in Pulau Kelang with a fishermen’s boat in the background.

“Another reason is that the authorities have also banned large trawlers from fishing near the shoreline.

“The increase in marine life off Port Klang is good for tourism and fishermen. There could even be dolphin-watching excursions if it is promoted well,’’ he said.

State Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said this showed that marine life was booming in Malaysian waters.

“Previously, there has not been many sightings of dolphins but it has increased over the years..

“The state has gone on a mangrove-planting exercise where thousands of seedlings were planted over the last three years.

“The sighting of dolphins shows that there is more marine life partly because of the mangrove-planting effort and enforcement to prevent logging,’’ said Wong.

A marine expert said he was not surprised over the sighting of dolphins near the shipping lane off Port Klang.

He said the dolphins found throughout these waters were migratory species and moved to coastal areas swimming to Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore besides Malaysia.

When asked on whether the polluted waters off Port Klang would affect the health of these migratory dolphins, he added that there would not be any effects as these dolphins travel far and wide.

Source: The Star

 

 

  
 
 
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