March 2004

EU plans to protect dolphins

EU plans to protect dolphins: Worldwide over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die unintentionally in fishermen's hauls, according to a study released last year. In response, European Union nations are considering requiring fishermen to install acoustic "pingers" on their boats to scare away the marine mammals. The rules would be applied in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, English Channel, and other waters off northern and western Europe; the new rules would also phase out drift nets in the Baltic Sea. The pingers could cost up to $7,400 per boat, so some smaller boats may be exempted. But some fishing organizations support the expense, since catching a dolphin or porpoise can damage gear, and cost the boat in catch.

See "EU mulling measures to protect dolphins," Paul Ames, Associated Press at Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/16/04.