We did this ….

THE baby died too.

On Monday night, 18-month-old dolphin calf Splash was found dead near the Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club; fishing line biting into the flesh around her tail.

Last Tuesday her mother Highnitch, a long-term river resident of the Swan River, perished because of discarded fishing line too.

“The mother and calf had severe entanglements for several months, with splash having fishing line wrapped around her tail fluke and Highnitch having line entangled around her tail fluke and dorsal fin,” said river scientist Kerry Trayler, from the department of biodiversity, conservation and attractions.

• Splash’s entangled fin shows how man-made rubbish in the Swan River directly contributed to her death. Photo by Parks & Wildlife

Entanglement

“These animals are highly mobile and intelligent, and despite efforts to intervene over an extended period only part of the entanglement was able to be removed from Highnitch’s dorsal fin earlier this month”.

“We urge people who visit our rivers to dispose of unwanted fishing line by either taking it home or putting it in the fishing line bins that are located at popular jetties, fishing platforms, traffic bridges and foreshores across the Riverpark.”

• Nearly 12,000 pieces of rubbish picked up just from the little beach near Bicton Baths.

There are 61 dedicated fishing line bins along the Swan River, which is home to 22 adult and four baby dolphins, and many other animals that can be harmed by discarded fishing line.

Like her mum, Splash’s body has been taken to Murdoch university for a necropsy.

by DAVID BELL

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