Dead dolphin washed up at polluted Pantai Bersih

Dead dolphin washed up at polluted Pantai Bersih

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A dead dolphin was found washed up in the midst of the polluted waters of Pantai Bersih in Bagan Ajam, Butterworth this evening – only weeks after many Penangites had rejoiced at the sighting of dolphins, with some even saying it was a good omen.

Photograph: Ch’ng Chong Chew

Ch’ng Cheong Chew was having dinner at 7.00pm at a seafood restaurant near Pantai Bersih when he spotted the dead creature.

Ch’ng said he had a close up view of the carcass. “It’s a dolphin all right; it must have been dead a few days elsewhere as it was bloated.”

Notice the MRCB project work on a fisher folks’ jetty in the background – Photograph: Ch’ng Cheong Chew

Up till the 1970s and 80s, the area near Pantai Bersih, 6km north of the ferry terminal, used to be frequented by fisher folks who hauled their catch onto the beach.

But the expansion of the North Butterworth Container Terminal has reached close to Pantai Bersih while just further north, MRCB is carrying out a large coastal project to curb coastal erosion and build a fisherfolks’ jetty.

And just north of that, a monsoon drain from the main road, passing just outside ‘smart school’, Dato Onn Secondary School, empties untreated water directly into the sea.

But as the water became more silted and their catch dwindled, many of the fisher folks moved further north.

Are we going to see more dolphins and other marine life disappearing thanks to our ‘development’-at-all-costs model?

And as our once pristine coastal waters become more polluted, murkier and silted, we retreat inland and build artificial ‘water theme parks’ for our amusement. The controversial Excite water them park was officially opened today in Teluk Bahang.


  1. Thank you so far for your reply! You are a real gem!
    I end up calling mppp yesterday they send some who burried the dolphin. ?..on the beach

    To me that is very unprofessional, destroying and absolutely not caring for anything.
    Sounds like nobody need to know…put some sand on it!
    Where is the treasure in the Pearl of the Orient…?

    I will definitely contact Marecat. Another lady send email with pictures to wwf, no respond till now
    She tried to call also but no answer…..

    The indo pacific dolphin has three enemies; shark, stingray and human being…

    God is an ocean of pearls and gems…

    With love for all,


    • Heard that dolphins don’t usually eat stingrays. Maybe the dolphin died (of old age?) and other smaller creatures were feeding on it. Or it could have got trapped in a net?

  2. Ther is a dead dolphin at tanjong tokong beach close to strait quay. Nobody knows who to inform, i am a traveller and quite concerned. Is it killed, is it natural death…i dont know! Nobody really seem to care although last night one of the people i spoke to put it on facebook she got a number, called and send foto but till now the dolphin still there. ?. Please can anybody give me a name or a number who to contact?
    Thank you in advance

    With love,

      • Hi Miami, try contacting:
        – the Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies, USM;
        – Malaysian Nature Society, Penang branch;
        – Jabatan Perikanan P Pinang (Penang Fisheries Dept). This department is usually able to remove the dead dolphin, though they may be slow in responding.

        Also please inform MARECAT Langkawi Dolphin Research Centre.

        Please search online for their contact details.

  3. Saw a lot of dolphins swimming in Batu Ferringhi yesterday evening around 7pm and 2 days before. Dolphin sightings are pretty frequent these past few months.

    This particular dead dolphin happens to be rare – “Indo Pacific Bottlenose dolphins”, its grey and pinkish pigment is a dead give away. People often mistaken them to be “Pink Dolphins” which is primarily a fresh water dolphin.

    Seeing the frequency of dolphins around the island, the government should do something to protect them. Trawler boats are still being used and boats should be controlled. I have seen a few dead dolphins washed up with signs of being sliced from the boat propellers.

    Here’s to hoping more Penangites will take interest into this matter.

  4. This is surely a bad sign for Penang.
    2012 phobia or environmetal red line crossing, the iconic creature of intelligence found dead (is it the first one in Penang?) is not an excuse of an act of Nature. Something is wrong the way development (without sustainable & responsible measures) is being handled.
    Next may be mass suicide by Koay Kau (groupers)!
    I have not been line fishing (seawater) for 35 years & I will not until I finally stay in Belum rainforest with intelligent & eco Sang Kancil.


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