Dead whale
© AP/ Senthil Arumugam
People look at one among the dozens of whales that have washed ashore on the Bay of Bengal coast's Manapad beach in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu state.
The phenomenon of whales being washed ashore at Manapad in Thoothukudi continues as 11 more whales die on Wednesday. The count could increase according to the local fishermen.

Till Tuesday evening the death count remained at 45 and on Wednesday morning five more dead whales were washed ashore. As the day progressed the number of whales being washed ashore increased to 11.

Seeing the alarming increase of deaths officials rushed to the spot and sought help of more fishermen into the rescue service as they fear that the death count might increase.

The process of burial of the whales continues at the Manapad beach. Meanwhile, Marine life experts who are camped there have started the collecting genetic samples.

Murugan, Head of Marine Ecology and Conservation Department, VOC College, claimed that research scholars were sent to Manapad on Tuesday to assess the situation and the process of tissue collection would begin on Wednesday. Using the collected tissues the genetic samples can be subjected for genetic testing.

Through the tests their location can be found and based on the injuries the reason for washing ashore can be determined.

When asked about the preliminary inquiry he claimed that seeing the nature of the injuries it can be said that one of the whales which preys on squids would have been caught in a coral reef in the Gulf of Mannar and would have sent the distress signal.

The pilot whale would have followed the signal and the other whales would have followed the pilot.

When asked about the time period for genetic analysis he replied that the tests would take at least one month and conclusive result could be obtained only after a week.