During the past few days members of the Archipelagos’ Marine Team responded to the strandings of a juvenile Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and a Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta). These strandings were reported to us by the local port police authorities, as well as members of the Samos Divers Association.
The Common Dolphin was found dead on a beach on the South East of Samos, just off Pythagorio village. It is predicted that it died at sea a couple of days before the team were informed, and was carried ashore by the rough sea conditions. The cause of death was not obvious at the time, so histological samples were taken and sent to the appropriate collaborating laboratories for toxicological analysis.
In a separate incident, a Loggerhead Turtle was found dead on the North coast of Samos, near the village of Kokkari. Again cause of death could not be discerned at the scene, and thus histological samples were taken and will also be sent off to a laboratory for toxicological analysis. This will hopefully help determine cause of death in both cases.
Although we believe that these strandings were not caused by deliberate killing but due to natural causes, we must remain vigilant. Continued degradation of our seas due to overfishing and a lack of management constitute significant threats to the survival of the rare marine wildlife that lives here.
While in Greece, in particular the Aegean, please keep an eye out for potential strandings along the coast. If you do see something please contact the Archipelagos Research Team, who are on site in different part s of the Aegean throughout the year.