The beaches on France’s Atlantic coast have witnessed many gruesome sights in 2019 with as many as 1,100 dead dolphins washing ashore, many of them in mutilated conditions. The huge numbers of the dead animals along with the sheer brutality of their deaths has alarmed marine life conservationists.
Although environmental campaigners say 1,100 mutilated dolphins have been found since January, but the real figure could be 10 times higher as many bodies sink without trace. Activists warn the marine slaughter could threaten the extinction of the European dolphin population in the region.
The cause of the deaths is not known but it is thought fishing trawlers catching sea bass off the Atlantic coast may be responsible. Autopsies suggest the dolphins sustain catastrophic injuries attempting to escape nets or when trawler crew attempt to cut them free after they are caught.