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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 08:17 GMT
Boat's dolphin death inquiry
Dead dolphin on beach   Greenpeace
The winter is the worst time for small cetaceans
Greenpeace boat the MV Esperanza is in waters off Devon to investigate the rise in dolphin deaths.

The crew are questioning trawlermen about their fishing methods.

On board the Esperenza, spotters work in shifts to record dolphin sightings as well as keeping a look out for pair trawlers known to be fishing for bass nearby.

The charity believes the huge nets used to catch the fish also trap dolphins and are to blame for the rise in dolphin carcasses found washed up on our shores.

The Esperanza is expected to remain in the region for the next few days before heading out to the continental shelf to question trawlermen there.

The charity says it felt compelled to act before the creatures become extinct.

In a recent report, The Net Effect?, the group estimates around 10,000 animals die annually on UK and French coasts.

Figures for 2002-2003 show 250 cetaceans were found dead on Cornwall's beaches while 80 were found on Devon's shores.

This year conservationists expect the figure to be even higher.

Spotlight on dolphin deaths
22 Jan 04  |  Cornwall
Dolphin deaths fear
13 Jan 04  |  Devon
MPs tackle dolphin deaths
03 Dec 03  |  Devon
Nets 'kill 800 cetaceans a day'
13 Jun 03  |  Science/Nature

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