Commercial fishing or plastics may be to blame for the recent spate of dolphin deaths. Jack Rule reports.
Commercial fishing could to blame for the recent spate of dolphin deaths on Cornish beaches, a marine expert told TruthFal. Captain Keith Leeves who works for AK Wildlife Cruises, believes this to be the most likely cause of death for the trio of dolphins discovered on Falmouth’s Gylly beach on January 26th. He also explained that this problem is far more widespread than is commonly thought.
“This year has been very high, there’s over 70 animals that have already been recorded stranded on Cornwall and Devon beaches”
Leeves told TruthFal that statistically the highest number of dolphin deaths in this area occur in winter. As during winter many smaller marine animals congregate to reproduce and when dolphins take this opportunity to feed they become caught in the fishing nets of trawlers and are fatally wounded, a process referred to as bycatch.
When asked what he believed to be the most pressing threat to marine life, Leeves told TruthFal, “Plastics in our oceans at the moment are the highest they’ve ever been, and that’s causing a detrimental effect to many different species, from the large marine animals to the smaller species of fish”.
‘Plastics in our oceans at the moment are the highest they’ve ever been’
Abby Cross of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust told TruthFal that the official cause of death for the trio of dolphins will be released this summer in a report from the Institute of Zoology.
Cross could provide information on the most common causes of marine animal deaths. “What I can tell you is that these animals really do die from a plethora of causes, from physical bycatch (boat strike, bycatch), to natural diseases and even bottlenose dolphin kills”
Leeves advises anyone who discovers deceased or beached marine animals in future to contact the Cornwall Wildlife Trust immediately on 03452012626.