An oceanographic institute reported in mid-March that at least 910 dead dolphins washed ashore in France in the Atlantic Ocean this winter.
Just in the week leading up to the report, more than 400 specimens were found on the coast, an unprecedentedly large amount, La Rochelle’s Pelagie Oceanographic Observatory wrote in a report. They added that these numbers are not final yet.
Based on investigations to date, most dolphins that have washed ashore have died several days, and in some cases several weeks, since. Their injuries coincide with those caused by fishing nets or other tools used in fishing, as well as by the fishing boats themselves.
– writes A.N Phys.org.
Between 2017 and 2020, an average of 850 dead dolphins washed ashore during the winter. Most of them die in February-March, when the animals approach the coast in search of food and thus come into contact with poachers.
Some NGOs and scientists are calling for a temporary halt to hunting during these months. However, the government would prefer to implement a solution to reduce the impact of industrial fishing on the dolphins, such as on-board cameras or alarms that would keep the cetaceans away from the ships.
In February, a representative of the Council of State – France’s highest government body – endorsed temporary bans in certain places on fishing methods that could be held responsible for dolphin deaths.
An official decision from the council is expected shortly after several environmental protection societies file a legal complaint against the government.
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