Countless cetaceans die from accidental capture every year. On July 2, the Paris administrative court acknowledged that France has not taken the necessary measures to protect dolphins. And last Thursday, the European Commission gave Paris three months to take radical action to put an end to the problems identified.
Last February, Virginijus Sinkevicius, the European Commissioner for Fisheries declared that more than 11,300 dolphins accidentally died in the nets of fishermen in the Bay of Biscay during the winter. At this rate, the cetacean population could experience a serious decline in the years to come, despite the fact that there are still a good number of specimens in the sea.
In addition, around 1,000 dolphins were found washed up on the beaches of the Bay of Biscay between the 1er January and March 18, 2020. The Pelagis Observatory claims that 70% of these bear obvious marks of fishing nets while 88% were diagnosed dead due to their accidental capture after their examination.
At the end of May, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) therefore recommended new measures to limit incidental catches of dolphins in European waters. And last Thursday, European legislation gave France three months as well as Spain and Sweden to take radical measures to deal with this problem.