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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 16:37 GMT
Campaigner's threat over MBE
Dolphin carcasses
Experts blame large pair trawlers for dolphin deaths
A Devon animal rights campaigner is threatening to hand back her MBE in protest over the continuing number of dead dolphins washed up on South West shores.

Lindy Hingley set up Brixham Seawatch with her husband John 11 years ago.

And she received the MBE two years ago in recognition of her marine conservation work.

But in the last nine days alone, 36 dead dolphins have been washed up around the south west coast and Mrs Hingley says the problem will worsen if no action is taken.

Lindy Hingley of Brixham Seawatch
Since I received my MBE, for basically saving dolphins lives, more dolphins have died than ever before

Lindy Hingley of Brixham Seawatch

"This winter we predicted it would be really bad because there have been lots of cuts in the fishing industry.

"I envisaged more boats turning to the form of fishing which we know catches the dolphins, the bass pair trawlers, and I think that's what going on."

Despite her pride at receiving the honour in 2001 she said she was prepared to hand it back if nothing is done to tackle the problem.

"Since I received my MBE, for basically saving dolphins lives, more dolphins have died than ever before.

"I feel totally exasperated and frustrated about this, I think it's a hypocrisy.

"I don't really feel proud to hold this award until we are actually dealing with this problem first-hand."

Urgent action

Environmentalists in the region blame the resurgence of the seasonal bass fishing industry on the south coast of the county for the increase in fatalities.

At the end of 2002, the RSPCA called for urgent action from the government and EU to tackle the problem.

The government is due to release its response later in the year.

And for the first time the European Commission is considering including plans to deal with the issue in its Common Fisheries Policy .


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08 Jan 03 | England
11 Dec 02 | England
28 Oct 02 | England
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