Scientists in France say record 370 dead dolphins washed up on Atlantic beaches

Scientists in France say record 370 dead dolphins washed up on Atlantic beaches. Photo by De Visu

A record number of dead dolphins wash up on the Atlantic beaches of France raising concerns by scientists who say they die after becoming tangled in fishing gear

Scientists along with animal campaigners in France have announced that the dolphin population is running out of time after finding a record number washed up on the country´s Atlantic beaches. The deaths which been recorded by Scientists at the Pelagis sea mammal and bird observatory suggest that 370 dead dolphins were found washed up French beaches between December 1 and January 25.  

The observatory which is also attached to the University of La Rochelle as per the Guardian said, “Without any doubt, being entangled in fishing gear remains the principal cause of death observed in common dolphins found in winter strandings on beaches, and has been since the 1990s,” Pelagis reported. 

“This situation is worrying and not specific to France as it affects neighbouring countries.” 

This warning was made after the conservation group Sea Shepherd in France posted photos on Twitter, that shows the bodies of dolphins with severe cuts on them.  

 “This is the worst face of fishing: no respect for the living, no love for the sea that sustains them. Those who atrociously mutilated this dolphin should never be allowed to fish again,” Sea Shepherd France said. 

As per previous estimates from December 2021 until April 2022, scientists believe that 669 dolphins were killed, during the sea bass and hake fishing season.  

“The number of dolphins washing up on beaches was the tip of the iceberg and the toll could be many times higher”, said Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France.  

Essemlali added, “The large majority of the dolphins captured and freed then drown at sea and their bodies sink,” 

“It is urgent that we close certain zones to fishing boats during certain periods. We keep asking for this, but the fishing lobby is powerful in France and the government has refused. It’s extremely frustrating” 

“The only thing we can do is display the dead and mutilated dolphins to local people and to the press and make people realise what is happening.” 


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Written by

Imran Khan