News

The first necropsy of dolphins took place at Trakia University - Stara Zagora

1
06/17/2022
On June 5, at Trakia University - Stara Zagora, a necropsy was performed on 6 individuals of the Black Sea harbour porpoise (sea swine) species. This is the smallest species of dolphin in our sea, which has the highest numbers, inhabits mainly coastal waters and undertakes seasonal migrations, following the passages of fish. The study was also attended by students of Veterinary Medicine, Bulgarian and foreigneers, studying at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Trakia University.

The aim of the event is to determine the cause of the increased mortality among marine mammals in the Black Sea this year. Data on such an increase is available from all Black Sea countries, without exception. According to MEW-Burgas, the number of dead or endangered dolphins found in the Burgas region since the beginning of the year is 55, and their number changes daily, thanks to signals submitted by citizens on the green phone of the Eco-Inspection.

The animals subject to necropsy were 4 adult individuals from the Ropotamo region and two small ones, visibly under 1 year old, which were found in a garbage container in Burgas with cut back muscles (fillets). This type of study of dolphins in laboratory conditions is performed for the first time in our country. This aroused great interest from professors, experts and students from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Trakia University - Stara Zagora. Research will also be done by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.

The collected samples and their subsequent analysis will show the presence of infectious and contagious diseases from which dolphins, like all living things, often suffer. One of the working hypotheses is the impact of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine. Acoustic exposure from such sources can lead to fatal damage to the dolphins' auditory organ, which in turn can lead to disorientation, inability to feed and the death of the animal.

However, the exact cause will be determined after the analysis of the samples, and for this purpose it is necessary to collect more data. Therefore, we appeal to everyone to report to the relevant eco-inspection or on our website if dead or living dolphins are found on the shore.

For contacts:
Dimitar Popov - dpopov@greenbalkans.org
Galina Meshkova - gmeschkova@greenbalkans.org