Warning that wild sea bass fishing is causing trawlers to kill dolphins and porpoise

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Wild sea bass is off the menu as the European fishing industry is killing thousands of dolphins and porpoises, conservationists warned.

Bay of Biscay sea bass are often caught using trawler or static nets in which the cetaceans become entangled, the Marine Conservation Society said.

The fish has been given an “avoid” rating on the charity’s biannual Good Fish Guide, as concerns grow for dolphin and porpoise populations in the region.  In recent years thousands of dead dolphins have been found washed up on French beaches, with numbers rising sharply since 2015.

The charity plans to push UK restaurants and supermarkets to stop stocking the unsustainable sea bass, which could see it disappearing from menus and shelves.

Earlier this year French marine biologists warned that the Atlantic Coast dolphin population was at risk due to fishing methods.

According to the Pelagis Observatory, based in La Rochelle, France, almost 1,000 were found washed up in the first three months of this year, many of them with mutilations thought to have been caused by fishermen releasing them from nets. The overall number of deaths is believed to be higher as many carcasses do not wash ashore. 

Diners are more likely to encounter Bay of Biscay sea bass while abroad, but some is being imported into the UK. It is largely being caught by French and Spanish trawlers.

Read more via The Daily Telegraph

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