There is intense demand for action after 1,100 dead dolphins wash up in France. French marine researchers were shocked to see a record 1,100 dead dolphins on France's Atlantic coast beaches since January. Aside from researchers, animal welfare groups are alarmed, and the mass deaths are blamed on industrial fishing. France's ecology minister is expected to launch a national plan to protect dolphins.
“There's never been a number this high,” said Willy Daubin, a member of La Rochelle University's National Center for Scientific Research. “Already in three months, we have beaten last year's record, which was up from 2017 and even that was the highest in 40 years.”
Daubin noted that 90 percent of fatalities result from dolphins being accidentally captured in industrial fishing nets. The real reason behind huge spike in dolphin deaths is currently a mystery. “What fishing machinery or equipment is behind all these deaths?” he asked. According to the autopsies carried out on the dolphins this yea by La Rochelle University's National Center for Scientific Research, they show extreme levels of mutilation.
Last week, French Ecology Minister Francois de Rugy went to La Rochelle in an attempt to lower the number of dolphins being killed at the hands of humans. French President Emmanuel Macron has a pro-ecology stance (“Make the Planet Great Again”), so the ecology minister is under a lot of pressure.