Sea Shepherd Captures Images of Dead Dolphins in Fishing Nets off French Coast

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February 21, 2019

Despite efforts by commercial fishing vessels to hide evidence that their nets are killing dolphins off the Atlantic coast of France, on the night of Tuesday February 19thSea Shepherd captured images of dead dolphins being hauled onboard two trawlers fishing in pairs for sea bass in the Bay of Biscay. It echoes the video footage released by Sea Shepherd in February 2018 showing dead and dying dolphins trapped in trawler nets (

These two dolphins are in addition to the 600 others - often mutilated - found on French beaches in the last 6 weeks. While this figure may seem enormous, it is far below the true scale of the ongoing deaths. The Pelagis Scientific Observatory in La Rochelle estimates that 80% of the dolphins killed sink at sea and never reach the shore.

"During our patrols, we encounter many dolphins every day in this particularly sensitive area," said Lamya Essemlali, President of Sea Shepherd France and director of the campaign. "Dolphins swim through the sea bass spawning waters where many trawlers and seiners are fishing - which is already an aberration in itself - using techniques widely known to be deadly to marine mammals. Therefore, these catches are not accidental. They are predictable, almost systematic and accepted as such. It’s essential that consumers start demanding accountability for the origin of the fish on their plates," she concludes.

Operation Dolphin ByCatch is a Sea Shepherd campaign off the Atlantic Coast of France to expose the deadly fishing practices responsible for the deaths of thousands of dolphins each year. To learn more:


Hi-Res photos (credit Tara Lambourne/Sea Shepherd):

For interviews, more images, or video footage, contact:

Heather Stimmler, Sea Shepherd Global
Tel +339 7719 7742

Lamya Essemlali, Sea Shepherd France

Sea Shepherd Global

Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit marine conservation movement using innovative tactics and direct action to defend, conserve and protect the worlds oceans and marine wildlife. Founded by Paul Watson in 1977, today Sea Shepherd is a worldwide movement with independent national and regional entities in over 20 countries, united by a common mission and a fleet of eleven ships on campaigns around the world. Sea Shepherd investigates and documents violations of international and national conservation law, and enforces conservation measures where legal authority exists. For more information, visit: