WDC has joined forces with organisations from across Europe to demand urgent action to prevent thousands of dolphins dying this winter.
Scientists estimate that over 10,000 common dolphins die in the Bay of Biscay every year due to harmful fishing activities, with peak deaths and strandings occurring between December and March. The main stumbling blocks are the French and Spanish governments who are ignoring scientific recommendations to close the fisheries in this area and failing in their legal requirements to protect the dolphins. We are therefore calling on the EU Commission to put in place emergency measures to prevent dolphins dying – including a temporary closure of the fisheries responsible from December to March and a plan to help those fishing in the area develop long-term measures to prevent bycatch of common dolphins.
WDC’s Sarah Dolman says: “The deaths of these beautiful dolphins is heart-breaking and avoidable. The European Commission urgently needs to step in, as it said it would, and adopt emergency measures to prevent dolphins dying this winter.”
Earlier this year the EU’s fisheries commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius, pledged to take action on this issue if necessary. It is more than necessary – it is essential.