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More than 1,000 mutilated dolphins wash up on French beaches in three months

Up to 1,100 dolphins with badly mutilated bodies have washed up along the coast of France in just th..

By admin , in World News , at March 31, 2019

Up to 1,100 dolphins with badly mutilated bodies have washed up along the coast of France in just three months – the highest number in 40 years.

Examinations of the animals found many with their fins cuts off and other extreme injuries, thought to have occurred as the dolphins tried to free themselves from fishing nets.

The deaths have alarmed environmental activists and Frances ecology ministry has launched a national plan to protect the animals after campaigners warned it could lead to them becoming extinct.

A dead dolphin lies on a beach of the Atlantic Ocean near Lacanau, southwestern France, on March 22, 2019. - Over 1,100 beached dolphins have been recorded on the French Atlantic coast, mainly in the Vendee, Charente-Maritime and Gironde deprtments, according to the Pelagis Observatory, a marine mammal and seabird research laboratory based in La Rochelle. "We have dolphins arriving on the coast with marks, we can prove that it's accidental capture but we can not detect what fishing gear has contributed to this." We need to know exactly what it's happening", said Willy Dabin of the Pelagis Observatory. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

Up to 1,100 dolphins have washed up the French coast in just three months (Picture: Getty)

Willy Daubin, of La Rochelle Universitys National Center for Scientific Research, said: Theres never been a number this high.

Already in three months, we have beaten last years record, which was up from 2017 and even that was the highest in 40 years.

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Though Daubin said 90 per cent of the fatalities resulted from accidental capture in industrial nets, the reason behind the spike this year is a mystery.

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He admitted he did not know what fishing machinery or equipment was behind the deaths.

It is thought trawlers using massive nets to catch sea bass are responsible for a great percentage, as dolphins become hoovered up in the nets in the process.

A volunteer of the Pelagis Obsevatory examines a dead dolphin on a beach of the Atlantic Ocean near Lacanau, southwestern France, on March 22, 2019. - Over 1,100 beached dolphins have been recorded on the French Atlantic coast, mainly in the Vendee, Charente-Maritime and Gironde deprtments, according to the Pelagis Observatory, a marine mammal and seabird research laboratory based in La Rochelle. "We have dolphins arriving on the coast with marks, we can prove that it's accidental capture but we can not detect what fishing gear has contributed to this." We need to know exactly what it's happening", said Willy Dabin of the Pelagis Observatory. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

A volunteer of the Pelagis Obsevatory examines a dead dolphin on a beach of the Atlantic Ocean near Lacanau, southwestern France (Picture: Getty)

Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France, said that dolphins suffocate after becoming trapped because they cannot get to the surface for air.

These fishing vessels have nets that are not selective at all so when they put their net in the water and the water is full of dolphins they get in the net, she explained.

Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals, and they need to get to the surface to get air.

So what happens is they suffocate and they also injure themselves, when they try to get away from the nets and thats the reason why we find all these marks on their bodies.

Daubin and his team carried out autopsies on the dolphins this year and found mutilations that were more extreme than in previous years.

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, file photo, Capt. David Anderson of Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point, Calif., shows a net that a whale was found entangled in. California crab fisheries will close for the season in April 2019 when whales are feeding off the state's coast as part of an effort to keep Dungeness crab fishery gear from killing protected whales, officials announced Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The April 15 closure, three months before the crab fishing season normally ends, is part of a settlement reached by the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (AP Photo/Christine Armario, File)

It is thought dolphins suffer fatal injuries when trapped in fishermens nets (Picture: AP)

Activists say they are due to fisherman who often cut body parts off the suffocated dolphins after they are pulled up on the nets, to save the net itself.

French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy rushed last Friday to La Rochelle in an attempt to lower the number dying as a result of human action.

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Hes under pressure not least because of French President Emmanuel Macrons pro-ecology stance and oft-quoted slogan to Make the Planet Great Again.

Rugy has come up with some plans, including bolstering research into existing acoustic repellent devices in place in some 26 two-vessel trawlers off the Bay of Biscay, an industrial fishing hub in the Atlantic Ocean.

When activated, the devices send unpleasant signals to nearby dolphins that cause them to swim away.

But animal rights group Sea Shepherd said they do not go far enough, and has already decried such measures as useless.

FILE PHOTO - A dead dolphin discovered at Trevone Bay, Cornwall. See National News story NNdolphins.Beached dolphins could be suffering from Alzheimer's after they were exposed to toxins produced by algae blooms in coastal waters, a study found.The marine mammals found stranded on beaches in Florida and Massachusetts had amyloid plaques in their brains, a hallmark in human beings of Alzheimer's.And it could be because the apex p</br><a href=https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/31/more-than-1000-mutilated-dolphins-wash-up-on-french-beaches-in-three-months-9073257/><strong>Read More – Source</strong></a></p>


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