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Three orcas at surface © Christopher Swann/WDC

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Minke whale died after entanglement in fishing gear

Common minke whale

An investigation into what caused the death of a minke whale found dead stranded at Spurn point in Yorkshire on 6th October has concluded that the whale probably died after becoming entangled in fishing gear.

Scientists from the UK's Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme revealed that the 7.5m juvenile female whale was extremely emaciated. The entanglement was caused by "a mass of plastic rope, packing straps and other fragments of plastic, with stalked barnacles growing on the debris." In addition the tail of the whale had been partly severed during the entanglement.

This incident follows the deaths of four other minke whales found near Whitby in recent weeks.

Many species of whales and dolphins encounter the threats posed by different types of fishing gear. Find out more.

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About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.

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