BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 15:19 GMT
RSPCA urges action over dead dolphins
Dolphin carcasses
These dolphins were found dead on a Devon beach
The RSPCA is calling for urgent action from the government and EU to prevent the deaths of hundreds of dolphins and porpoises in commercial fishing nets off the South West coast every year.

During December, 31 dead dolphins and porpoises were found washed up on the Cornish coast alone.

It is the highest number ever recorded in December, according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

During 2002, a total of 180 of the sea mammals were victims of fishing off Cornwall.

Any action is too late to save this year's victims but we cannot let this situation drag on, year after year

Laila Sandler RSPCA marine wildlife officer

"These healthy animals die a grisly death," said Laila Sandler, an RSPCA marine wildlife officer.

"Some thrash around violently in an effort to escape suffering cuts, broken teeth and even jaws before eventually running out of oxygen."

Early in 2003 the government is due to release its strategy to tackle the problem - and for the first time ever the European Commission is considering including plans to deal with the issue in its Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Compulsory observers

"We will never know exactly how many dolphins and porpoises die this way off UK shores each year.

"We urge the government and the EU to adopt tough new measures to stop the killing.

"Any action is too late to save this year's victims but we cannot let this situation drag on, year after year," said Ms Sandler.

The RSPCA would like to see compulsory observers on board fishing vessels to monitor deaths and new powers for fisheries to be closed temporarily when a problem is identified.

The society is also calling for wildlife-friendly fishing gear to be developed.


Click here to go to BBC Cornwall

Click here to go to Devon
See also:

11 Dec 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | England
13 Mar 02 | England
Internet links:


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

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


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes