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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 18:27 GMT
Fish supplier bans bass
dead dolphins
Fishermen disagree that pair trawlers are to blame
A BBC Spotlight report on dolphin deaths last month has prompted a major fish supplier to stop selling wild sea bass.

The South West internet company Barnacle Bill Direct said it is concerned about the link with pair trawling.

Campaigners say many of the dolphin deaths are caused by the pair trawlers who use huge nets to catch sea bass.

But fishermen disagree the trawlers pose a serious threat.

Paul Harris of Barnacle Bill Direct
We can't guarantee our fish is dolphin friendly
Paul Harris, Barnacle Bill Direct

"I saw the programme myself and I was naturally concerned," said Paul Harris from Barnacle Bill.

"Most of our sea bass is sourced from Brixham and I must stress that Brixham trawlers do not use the pair trawling method, it's vessels using other South West ports that do.

"But at this time of year we can't always guarantee supply and we have to look in other markets for our fish.

"We therefore can't guarantee our fish is dolphin friendly."

But Dave Pessell of Plymouth Trawler Agents said that any dolphins killed are an "incidental and accidental bycatch".

"I believe the whole matter has been blown up out of proportion, we are doing everything we can to minimise dolphin deaths," he said.

Lindy Hingley, of Brixham Seawatch, placed most if the blame on foreign pair trawlers.

She said: "These big commercial pair teams that only come here in the winter months to fish in the English Channel are killing most of the dolphins."



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