The forest department on Thursday undertook an operation to find the remains of the 40-foot Bryde’s whale that had washed ashore on Juhu beach last year. However, three hours on, officials abandoned the search operation. The department had planned to display the skeletal remains of the whale at the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre (CMBC) in Airoli.
“We dug four holes in the beach but were unable to find the remains. As of now, we won’t be attempting another search,” said a forest department official, requesting anonymity. In May 2017, two parts of a 40-foot decomposed whale carcass washed ashore on two beaches: one at Juhu (20 feet) and the remaining 16 feet at Madh beach. The Bryde’s whale is a tropical whale because it usually lives in warmer waters and is found in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.
Since 2015, over 70 cases of carcasses of marine mammals washing ashore have been recorded. Mumbai beaches saw 13 such instances last year.
The CMBC had planned to display over 600 marine species. Tourists visiting the centre can hear the sounds of whales and flamingos to get a better understanding of their life as well as information about marine ecology. The centre, that opened to tourists last year, was built in collaboration with the Indo-German (GIZ) Project on Conservation and Sustainable Management of Marine Protected Areas.