Dolphin population at risk in Britain

May 16, 2007

A report from the Wildlife Trusts and an animal charity has found that commercial fishing in Britain is placing the regional dolphin population at risk.

The report warns that if action is not taken to control the fishing industry soon, the friendly marine animals could vanish from a large portion of the British coastline, The Daily Telegraph said Tuesday.

The Wildlife Trusts and Marine Connection study comes after 128 porpoises and dolphins were found washed ashore on England's southwest coast earlier this year.

Marine Connection official Dr. Lissa Goodwin said that the unprecedented rise in marine mammal deaths is due to the presence of fishing nets near English Channel entrances.

"Entanglement in fishing gear is the number one cause of death in stranded dolphins, particularly common dolphins and harbor porpoises," she said. "If we want to reduce human impacts on dolphins we need to take urgent action."

The report calls for additional powers to be given to regulatory groups in order to punish fisheries involved in the deadly fishing practices.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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