Dozens of dolphins found dead in Mauritania

June 11 2004 at 04:21PM

Dakar - Forty-nine dolphins have been found dead on beaches in Mauritania, the deputy head of the north-west African country's oceanography and fishing institute, Mika Diop, told reporters here Friday.

The dolphin carcasses were found early this week on beaches in southern Mauritania, near the border with Senegal.

A team from the oceanography institute had seen four dead dolphins on the beach on Mboyo island, seven kilometres from the Senegalese border on Monday, and the following day found the carcasses of 45 more dolphins nearby, said Diop.

Rumours of the mammals' deaths had been circulating in the Senegalese capital Dakar among environmental activists, who said they believed the dolphins had died after underwater explosions were carried out to look for oil.

The precise reason for the dolphins' deaths is still not known, said Diop.