Story By: Madalina Spulber, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
These two dead dolphins have washed up on the shore of a popular tourist resort after becoming entangled in illegal fishing nets and having their tails hacked off.
Members of the NGO ‘Mare Nostrum’, based in the city of Constanta situated in south-eastern Romania on the Black Sea, shared photos on social media of two dead bottlenose dolphins that had their tails cut off.
A spokesperson said: “Two dolphins died recently after becoming entangled in fishing nets.”
Pictures Credit: CEN & CEN/@delfinimn
Many netizens were shocked that the dolphins’ tails had been hacked off, suggesting that they had been caught by illegal turbot fishermen.
According to reports, the fishing of turbot – a highly-prized fish known for its delicate flavour – is prohibited from 15th April to 15th June.
Mare Nostrum said that many dead dolphins wash up on the shore during this period, a clear sign that illegal fishing in the Black Sea is thriving.
In 2015, 13 dolphins washed up onshore during the banned period whereas 34 were found dead in the same period of 2018.
Mare Nostrum spokeswoman Mihaela Candea said: “We cannot be certain that fishing nets caused every single one of the deaths, but in the case of the two recently-found dolphins, the signs were clear. They had cuts from the nets and their tails had been hacked off.”
She explained that the dolphins suffocate in the nets through lack of air and the fishermen often have to cut off their head or tail to get them untangled.
It is unclear whether the local authorities are investigating the claims of illegal turbot fishing off the coast of Constanta.