NGOs warn that thousands of common dolphins in the Bay of Biscay face horrific deaths in fishing nets this winter if the EU Commission does not step in with emergency measures to reduce bycatch, the single largest cause of harm and death to these dolphins today. Despite the legal requirement to protect this species and scientific recommendations [1] to close the fisheries responsible for the catches in this area, France and Spain are refusing  to do so [2]. 

Seas At Risk welcomes the steps taken today by the European Commission to end overfishing in the North-East Atlantic for some of the  stocks fished by the EU only. Regrettably, it did not follow scientific advice for all stocks, specifically for pollack in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters, or sole in the west of Ireland, which runs counter to the EU legal obligation to end overfishing of all EU fish stocks by 2020

90,000 dolphins have died in fishing nets in the northeast Atlantic in the past 30 years. Shockingly, more than 18,500 of these died in the past two years alone,in French waters in the Bay of BiscayWith peak strandings occurring between December and March each year, no measures are in place to prevent unnecessary dolphin bycatch and death this coming winter

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