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French fishermen accused by marine experts of eating dolphins illegally caught in Channel May 04,2012   |  Source: The Telegraph

French fishermen are dining on "large fillets" cut from the bodies of dolphins illegally caught in nets off Cornwall, conservationists claim.

The practice is becoming increasingly common in waters off the Souh West where concern is mounting over the number of dolphins and porpoises caught in fishing nets this year.

Since the beginning of January, Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Marine Strandings Network has examined and recorded 50 dead dolphins and porpoises so far. Just under half, 23, show signs of having died in fishing gear.

One common dolphin examined on the beach at Mousehole in early April showed the mark of a large mesh, mid-water trawl net from which it tried to escape.

A spokesman for Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: " A large fillet of flesh had been removed from the back - presumably for eating.

"This is a known practice on French boats and French pair trawlers were working close to the south coast at the time.


© Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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