Sighting of pink dolphins delights group

A group of fishing enthusiasts had an unexpected thrill off Pulau Semakau last Saturday when a pod of at least six dolphins, one of which appeared "a bit pinkish in colour", made an appearance. It was the first time the group had seen dolphins in tha
A group of fishing enthusiasts had an unexpected thrill off Pulau Semakau last Saturday when a pod of at least six dolphins, one of which appeared "a bit pinkish in colour", made an appearance. It was the first time the group had seen dolphins in that area.PHOTO: COURTESY OF QUEK WEI TECK

In his 10 years of going fishing, Mr Quek Wei Teck has never come across anything like it.

He was with six friends on a yacht off Pulau Semakau last Saturday afternoon when they saw something jump from the water.

"All of us stopped fishing and rushed to the front (of the yacht)," said Mr Quek, 39, who owns a fishing academy.

As they got closer, they were treated to the sight of at least six dolphins, one of which appeared "a bit pinkish in colour", he told The Straits Times yesterday.

As the yacht inched slowly towards the pod to let the fishing enthusiasts get a closer look, the dolphins continued frolicking in the water.

"The nearest we got was about 10m to 20m," Mr Quek said. "We've been there many times but it was our first time seeing dolphins."

GOOD SIGN

It's good that these dolphins are commonly spotted in our reefs. It is important for us to be aware of their existence in our waters, and that they are part of our reef ecosystem.

'' MR STEPHEN BENG, chairman of the Nature Society (Singapore)'s Marine Conservation Group, on the dolphins appearing off Pulau Semakau. SCAN TO WATCH Dolphin sighting caught on camera: http://str.sg/dolphin

The group then whipped out their camera phones to try to capture the sighting.

Mr Stephen Beng, chairman of the Nature Society (Singapore)'s Marine Conservation Group, told ST the dolphins sighted were Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins, or pink dolphins - named after the colour they grow into with age.

The dolphins of this species are common in Singapore waters, and have been observed around the southern islands, Mr Beng added.

"It's good that these dolphins are commonly spotted in our reefs," he added. "It is important for us to be aware of their existence in our waters, and that they are part of our reef ecosystem."

He added that people should not discard fishing lines and nets in the sea, as these pose a threat to marine life, including dolphins, otters and sea turtles.

In April, a dolphin was spotted at Bedok Jetty after it was reportedly caught in a fishing line.

After about 15 minutes, the fisherman cut the line and the dolphin drifted away, according to an eyewitness.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2018, with the headline 'Sighting of pink dolphins delights group'. Print Edition | Subscribe