France Ordered to Protect Dolphins from Fishing Deaths
After years of scientists and activists alike raising serious concerns regarding the high number of dolphin deaths in an industrial fishing hub in the Atlantic Ocean, France’s highest administrative body, the Council of State, just ordered the government to better protect the mammals.
According to AP News, dated March 20, 2023, “The council of state gave government officials six months ‘to close areas of fishing in the Bay of Biscay for appropriate periods, in order to limit the number of deaths of common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and harbor porpoises that are victims of accidental capture during fishing.’”* The ruling also states that an estimate of the annual number of accidental catches must be tallied.
*Source: AP News, 3/20/23
The fishing nets and gear used in deep-sea fishing in the Bay of Biscay off the western coast of France have killed thousands of dolphins as incidental bycatch. The article goes on to state that “government-affiliated scientists estimate that some 10,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed on average every year in that maritime zone of western France alone — one recent year recorded 18,000 deaths. They’re widely blamed on industrial fishing.”
Without appropriate intervention, a number of dolphin species in this region could face extinction.
Featured image: Trawl nets parts, Charente-Maritime, France. Credit: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, user: Jean-Pierre Bazard