Concerns Growing for Pod of Dolphins Trapped by Ice in NL Harbour

March 20, 2018 Updated: March 20, 2018

HEARTS DELIGHT, N.L.—Several white-beaked dolphins have become trapped by ice in a Newfoundland harbour, raising concerns that the mammals may not be able to escape if the winds don’t change.

Fisheries officials say heavy sea ice has cut off the dolphins’ exit route, leaving them enclosed in a small pool of water in the harbour of the Heart’s Delight community more than an hour outside St. John’s.

The Fisheries Department says it’s an unfortunate situation, but a natural occurrence in marine ecosystems.

The department is monitoring the case and asking people to keep clear of the dolphins because of the risk of transmitting diseases.

Retired local fisherman Charlie Sooley estimates there are about six dolphins in the pod and says ice and onshore winds drove them into the town’s natural harbour.

He fears the dolphins will die if the winds don’t shift and they aren’t able to get out to open water.


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