BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 00:44 GMT 01:44 UK
Dolphins 'killed by trawlers'
Bottlenose dolphin
The dolphins in the MOray Firth could be under threat
The government has pledged to act after fresh evidence that dolphins are being killed by intensive trawler methods.

According to BBC2's Newsnight programme, Ministry of Agriculture scientists saw 12 dolphins killed in nine days when they watched trawlers fishing for sea bass.

The trawlers fish in pairs using nets half-a-mile long and any dolphins accidentally caught up in the nets drown if they cannot escape in 20 minutes.

According to the programme, hundreds of dead dolphins have been washed up on the coast of France which were believed to have been killed by the intensive trawling methods and there are reports of 50 of the mammals being killed in one day.

Government pledge

Speaking on Newsnight, Fisheries minister Elliot Morley there was now "breakthrough" evidence of dolphins being killed.

He added: "What we have got as far as I am concerned is enough to take action and we intend to do that."

But he also said and a further study was being carried out to find the extent of the problem and more information would be needed before they took it forward with the European Commission.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said evidence from this year's mortalities and the pattern of deaths over the past decade showed that the blame lay with trawlers taking their catch from the mid and upper waters of the ocean.

Chris Stroud, chief executive officer for WDCS, said: "The government and the EU should act now to properly investigate pelagic (mid and upper-water) trawls and end this appalling death toll, or close the fisheries."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

06 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
Beach rubbish harms sealife
24 Feb 00 | Scotland
Marine life protection plan
02 Sep 99 | Sci/Tech
Marine diseases set to increase
11 Jun 99 | UK
Dolphins in danger
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories