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Study shows rise in Cornwall's dolphin, whale and porpoise deaths
Date:7/6/2008

ndon and the Natural History Museum.

Dr Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus said: "Many people were shocked by the recent graphic images of the mass dolphin strandings in Cornwall; the cause of which is still a matter of conjecture. We feel that the important message is that strandings have increased in recent years and that the majority are attributable to bycatch in marine fisheries. This is clearly a major issue that needs to be addressed by all stakeholders from Government and the fishing industry in addition to conservation organisations."

The researchers note, however that their findings could, in part, suggest that there are more cetaceans now living off our coastline, as a result of climate change bringing some animals further north.

Joana Doyle, Marine Conservation Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says: "There are several things we need to do in order to safeguard the future of Cornwall's cetaceans. These include establishing a network of Marine Conservation Zones around our coast to protect the species and the habitats they depend on, working closely with the fisheries to develop and test bycatch mitigation measures and pushing for an EU wide ban of pair-trawling for seabass. The strandings and sightings data collected by Cornwall Wildlife Trust is incredibly important for monitoring the status of our cetacean species off the Cornish coast."


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Contact: Sarah Hoyle
s.hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
01-392-262-062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

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