Residents of Mumbai woke up to a lovely surprise on Monday to find a pod of dolphins at Rajodi beach in Nalasopara (West). Locals told The Times of India that they have regularly spotted dolphins over the past week, especially around 11 am.
The recent sightings of the dolphins have given aquatic sports companies an opportunity to increase revenue by organising dolphin tours. Blu Life Adventures, who had been offering jet ski and banana rides, have added dolphin tours, offering tourists a chance to catch a glimpse of the aquatic mammals.
According to TOI, the dolphins were visible the whole of last week.
Other places in Mumbai where dolphins were spotted were near Bandra-Worli sea link and the Sassoon Docks. Marine biologists said that they are Indian Ocean humpback dolphins.
"The Indian Ocean humpback dolphins are known to live close to the coast. But we don't find them in Mumbai waters due to very high turbidity. The sightings reported over the past few weeks may be because of the reduced turbidity during winter," N Vasudevan, the additional principal chief conservator of forests, Maharashtra Mangrove Cell, was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
He added, "We have been getting reports of various such sighting over the past few weeks."
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said that the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin is a threatened species and is on the Red List. The organisation said, "For many countries and regions throughout their range, Indian Ocean humpback Dolphins are extremely poorly known, and although many threats exist, there have been very few effective conservation actions."
Fishermen in Mumbai said that they spot dolphin often while out at sea. However, they did not expect the pod to come this close to the shore.