SOURCE: The Local

DATE: February 18, 2019

SNIP: Since the start of 2019, up to 600 dolphins have washed up on beaches along France’s Atlantic coast.

While dead dolphins wash up on beaches in France each year scientists say the situation is alarming.

“If you compare these figures to last year’s over the same period, there are already more dead dolphins that the previous years, which were already record years,” said researcher Hélène Peltier from the Pelagis marine life observatory which carries out surveys.

Most of the dead dolphins found bear injury marks which researchers say are caused by big fishing boats and the large fishing nets they use.

“Among the carcasses found, 93 percent show signs that they have been captured by fishing vessels and their equipment such as mutilations, amputations and fractured jaws,” according to the French environmental charity France Nature Environnement (FNE).

The dolphins get caught in the vast nets used to catch fish like hake and sea bass, which the dolphins like to eat. Some of these nets are fixed in the sea bed and when dolphins get stuck in them, they can’t come up for air to breathe and they suffocate.

Trawlers are also a problem as they drag large fishing nets behind them which dolphins also get caught in and suffer injuries and die. When they get stuck, dolphins panic, and the stress can also kill them.