The decomposing carcasses of two juvenile finless porpoise were found in Hong Kong on Monday, the latest in a spate of such incidents in the past three weeks.
Ocean Park Conservation Foundation received two separate reports from members of the public about the remains, which were discovered at Shek O Beach and Shek Pai Wan.
In the first case, the fluke, or rear fin, was missing, and the body was severely decomposed. It had been 147cm long, but it was not possible to determine its gender.
The second, found at Shek Pai Wan, was discovered about midday and was 95cm long.
In both instances the cause of death was unknown and the foundation has taken both carcasses to Ocean Park for further necropsy.
Members of the public are urged to call the NGO’s hotline if they come across any mammals such as porpoise, dolphins and whales that have been stranded on the city’s beaches, so it can take immediate action.
Last year, 33 dead finless porpoises were logged by the foundation, equal to the previous record high set in 2014. That figure represents 12 per cent of the total number since the foundation started investigating stranded dolphins and porpoises in May 2006.
In the first three weeks of 2019, the figure has already reached eight.
The foundation said it could not draw any conclusions why the number was so high, but pointed to the threats posed to the mammals in Hong Kong waters, from fishing, motor boats and infection.