Hundreds of Dolphins dying on French beaches, fishermen the alleged culprits

Plantbasednews.com reports, 20th March 2019: Since December, nearly a thousand dolphins have been discovered dead on France’s Atlantic coast.

Hundreds of dolphin corpses have been found washed up on France’s Atlantic coast, as a result of the industrial trawlers used by the fishing industry.

The dolphins, who were accidentally caught in fishing nets, were reported to have faced an ‘agonizing death’ after suffering from ‘snapped tails, broken flippers, and deep wounds

According to Eco Watch: “Dolphins that typically live alongside sea bass are caught in fishing nets that capture everything in their path indiscriminately.”

Marine wildlife conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd, claims trawlers fishing for sea bass kill up to 10,000 dolphins every year, despite the animals being protected by international conservation law.

A spokesperson for Sea Shepherd said: “Dolphins are a sensitive species which are slow to reproduce their few offspring. By the time the decline in their population is visible, it’s usually too late… If we still want to see dolphins in France tomorrow, it’s urgent to take immediate measures to protect them.

“However, the French state is turning a deaf ear to all the scientists’ warnings, and the fishermen involved are taking advantage of the general public’s ignorance.”

Whilst catching dolphins in fishing nets is considered accidental — many dolphins die during the process from drowning, or by the wounds caused by the nets.

President of the Loire Fisheries Committee, José Jouneau, claims that all trawlers are equipped with acoustic repellents called ‘pingers’.

PBN has contacted the French Agriculture Ministry for comment.

 

Source: Plantbasednews.com, 20th March 2019. For further details, see www.plantbasednews.org/post/dolphin-corpses-french-beach

 

Marinet observes: The sea bass fishery is a long and disgraceful story of mismanagement by all parties to the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Some 5 years ago the sea bass fishery was not subject to regulation under the CFP. The size of the fishery was not deemed large or important enough to warrant regulation. However as fishing quotas on other wild stocks increasingly restricted fishing activity, particularly in this instance in the case of French and UK registered vessels, these boats turned to the sea bass fishery in the western waters of the English Channel and France as a replacement fishery.

The result was massive over-fishing, thus proving that the fishermen who have repeatedly declared that they are responsible users of the sea and its wild resources to be charlatans. After a great deal of lobbying by concerned organisation, particularly the UK Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS), followed by much wringing of hands by a long succession of UK Fisheries Ministers and their officials who promised much but delivered nothing, the matter was finally recognised by the EU Commission and the sea bass stock became subject to regulation and quotas.

It is to be noted that the Republic of Ireland took action to protect their sea bass stocks long before this and essentially prohibited fishing in their national waters except under very stringent regulations, thus displaying the resolve that the UK and French governments proved incapable of delivering.

The CFP regulations were welcome but of course too late. The stock had already collapsed and the overall stock was being fished beyond its safe biological limit (i.e. threatening its ability to reproduce and thus commercial extinction). Strict quotas were established (fishing should have actually been forbidden, as the Republic of Ireland had done, until the stock had fully recovered to its former level of abundance and was once again displaying an age and size profile indicative of a healthy stock — a legal requirement of the EU ‘s Marine Strategy Framework Directive which is persistently ignored by all EU authorities).

As a result, fishing of the heavily depleted wild sea bass population (note: there is a large fish farming industry based on sea bass, masking the true source from the consumers’ perspective) and the present alleged assault on dolphins by sea bass trawlers — who else would have done this? – is a product of the present appalling history of the management of the wild stock.

Yet, it is worse than this. The assault of dolphins is a crime. Who is investigating and prosecuting this crime? Are the alleged culprits, the fishermen, being arrested and bought to book in a court which examines the evidence? Is government, in France and the EU, meeting its responsibilities in this regard?

Under the CFP 2014 reform all vessels are now meant to be carrying on board CCTV cameras and the activity of the vessel constantly monitored for compliance. Have the cameras been installed? If they have not, why not? If they have, are the French and EU governments examining them with a view to prosecution?

If the French and EU governments are not doing this, why is the UK government (who has a common interest in protecting marine biodiversity and fish stocks in EU waters) not taking action to prosecute the French and EU governments?

One suspects that none of these legal actions or investigations are being taken and that crime is being allowed to occur without hindrance. Thus proving, once again, that the seas are a wholly lawless place, even within the limits under national jurisdiction.

This is a disgrace and not just with respect to all the aforementioned parties. It is also a disgrace for the environmental movement, and particularly those with million £ annual budgets, who are sitting on their backsides and doing nothing. They are almost as culpable as the criminal themselves, knowing the crime is being committed but doing nothing. Are they not complicit too?

Marinet has long protested against this state of affairs to the point where the ngo movement will no longer talk to us. However we will not be silent. This is a crime and the time for action is now and by you.

 


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