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We should stop buying fish until the industry stops slaughtering dolphins

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How many people want dolphins killed? Apart from the psychopath shooting them in Florida, and the Japanese hunters slaughtering them every year in Taiji cove, I would hazard a guess at none. They are perhaps the world’s most loved wild animals. Yet, every day, dolphin killers form an orderly queue, at supermarket checkouts in the UK and around the world. If you are buying fish, and there is no clear and watertight guarantee, you are likely to be complicit in something that would revolt you.

A horrifying report last week showed that dolphin numbers in the Indian Ocean have fallen by 87% since 1980, as they’ve been drowned in gill nets set for tuna. But the problem is not confined to distant seas, or to tuna fisheries. On average, two dolphins or porpoises are washed up on UK beaches every day. Many of them show the scrapes and indentations caused by fishing nets. Discoveries of dead dolphins around the Bay of Biscay this year are likely to beat the grisly record set in 2019, when 1,100 were found on the French coast. Large numbers are also turning up on the beaches of Ireland.

Not every dolphin or porpoise that washes up dead has been killed by the fishing industry. Infections are more prevalent than they were before, perhaps as a result of persistent synthetic chemicals accumulating in the animals’ tissues and suppressing their immune systems. But in many places, including the Bay of Biscay, Ireland and probably the Channel, industrial fishing appears to be the biggest cause.

The dolphins found on the shore are likely to be........

© The Guardian