Nine dolphins washed up on local Dorset beaches
by Diana Henderson
Daily Echo - (Poole)
24th February 2004
THE death toll of dolphins washed up on the Dorset coast has now reached nine in the space of little over a week.
Most are common dolphins, at least one is a striped dolphin and there have been reports of a stranded bottlenose dolphin.
Several have been taken away for post-mortem examination but they are believed to have been caught and drowned in huge nets of pairs of trawlers fishing for bass.
Observers on UK boats have confirmed that such by-catch is high, on average as many as two dolphins per haul.
"Independent observers are needed on these boats from all countries taking part in the fishery," said Peter Tinsley, Dorset Wildlife Trust's marine warden. "And if long term solutions cannot be agreed on the fisheries should be closed permanently."
The UK government is trialling new separator panels for nets and the trust is supportive of the action being taken but frustrated about the lack of action in Europe.
"We know this problem exists and that it has been happening now for several years and we shouldn't
have to wait for the start of another season before something is done about it," he said.