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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 15:04 GMT
Concern over dolphin strandings
Stranded striped dolphin. Picture: Jan Loveridge
The team has attended 10 strandings. Picture: Jan Loveridge
A Cornish wildlife charity has concerns over the number of dolphin strandings that have been reported in the county in recent weeks.

In the past two weeks Cornwall Wildlife Trust's (CWT) Marine Strandings Network team have attended strandings of nine common dolphins and a harbour porpoise.

The recent strandings have been spread between Downderry in the east to Penzance in the west.

The trust said the majority showed "signs of bycatch in fishing gear".

Pinger trial

Tom Hardy from CWT said: "Ten strandings in a ten-day period is a cause for concern but when taking into account five of these were recorded over last weekend alone, it becomes a much more worrying trend."

The trust has officially approached Defra for funding for a project to introduce a trial of pingers - acoustic deterrent devices.

The devices are designed to alert cetaceans to the presence of nets.

They emit random signals, at intervals ranging from five to 30 seconds, and most are in the ultrasonic range, beyond human hearing.

"In 2006, 175 dead cetaceans were recorded and although this figure was lower in 2007, 81, this recent spate of strandings suggests the problem has not gone away," said Mr Hardy.

Rare stranded dolphin is put down
28 Jan 08 |  Cornwall
Rare dolphin washed up on beach
18 Oct 05 |  Cornwall
'Undersea mobile' to save dolphins
20 Mar 03 |  Science/Nature

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