Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dead bottlenose dolphins seen close to fishing vessels in Bay of Biscay

01.06.2005


2 dead bottlenose dolphins seen near large fishing fleet off Spanish coast prompting fears that they were likely to have been incidentally caught in the fishing nets.



From the P&O Cruise Ferry, the Pride Of Bilbao, The Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP) has gathered a great deal of data on the distribution and abundance of whales & dolphins (collectively known as cetaceans) in the European Atlantic. This unique year round database has demonstrated the importance of this area as a feeding and breeding ground for many different species with more than a quarter of all cetacean species being recorded in the area.

On a recent crossing of the Bay of Biscay in April 2005, not far from the port of Santurtzi on the Northern Spanish coast, Clive Martin, BDRP Director and the Senior Wildlife Officer on board the Pride of Bilbao, observed a huge fishing fleet of Spanish vessels. On closer inspection, Clive could see bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) amongst the fishing fleet together with associated long finned pilot whales (Globicephala melanea).


Clive Martin, BDRP Director and Senior Wildlife Officer said: “Bottlenose dolphins are often observed in Biscay interacting with pilot whales and vessels. They are often seen from the Pride of Bilbao coming into bow ride”

As Clive scanned the scene, a disheartening sight met his eyes, 2 dead bottlenose dolphins, which appeared very fresh. The proximity of the dolphins to the fishing vessels prompted fears that they were likely to have been incidentally caught in the fishing nets, leading to their premature death.

This is of considerable conservation concern, because the bottlenose dolphin is one of the most threatened cetacean species in Europe, and consequently has extensive legislative protection at a European level. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES, Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Annexes II and IV of the EC Habitats Directive. It is also on Appendix 2 of the Bonn Convention and is covered by ASCOBANS.

Evidence from the Biscay Dolphin Research Programmes extensive database of cetacean sightings in the European Atlantic indicates that the Bay of Biscay is of high significance in European terms for the Bottlenose Dolphin. To put the importance of the region in to context, for example, single groups have been recorded in Biscay, which may exceed the whole coastal British population!

Not only does BDRP’s unique dataset help to highlight the importance of Biscay for threatened species, but also to define key threats to cetaceans in the European Atlantic, such as the risk of incidental catch in fishing gear.

Over recent years, the numbers of bottlenose and other dolphins accidentally caught in fishing gear, (known as by-catch), has been highlighted as a significant threat to the future survival of these marine mammals.

For example, in recent years, a large number of dead short beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) have been washed ashore along the south west coast of the UK, especially during the winter months, causing a public outcry. These deaths have been associated with winter fisheries, especially for Sea Bass. BDRP has annually recorded a large immigration of these dolphins moving into the Western Approaches to the U.K, co-inciding with the winter fisheries and highlighting the dolphins’ vulnerability to bycatch.

The increasing concern over these deaths lead to the fisheries minister, Ben Bradshaw, announcing that the UK government would be banning bass pair trawling within the U.K. territorial waters out to 12 miles with effect from December 2004 (see news release at http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2004/040927b.htm). Though welcome, this legislation will do little to protect dolphins away from the UK coastal waters.

BDRP is one of the only organisations in Europe carrying out year round dolphin surveys in offshore pelagic waters far from the coast, where dolphins are just as likely to be at risk from fishing activity, but where bycatch is much more likely to go un-noticed and unrecorded. BDRP urges that further legislation be brought into force to protect dolphins from pelagic fisheries.

For further information on the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP) please contact Adrian Shephard, Public Relations & Publicity Officer at adrian.shephard@biscay-dolphin.com.

Adrian Shephard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.biscay-dolphin.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>