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Campaign launched to save Europe's porpoises

porpoise
The harbor porpoise feeds near the sea floor, where they can become tangled in fishing nets  

July 18, 2000
Web posted at: 2:48 PM EDT (1848 GMT)

LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain's leading animal charity launched a hard-hitting campaign on Tuesday to highlight the plight of harbour porpoises who drown in fishing nets.

The RSPCA called for immediate action by European governments to change fishing methods. It said every year 7,000 porpoises are killed in Danish nets in the North Sea and 1,000 die in British nets designed to catch hake, cod and other fish.

The porpoises suffocate when they are unable to break free.

The "Haul of Shame" campaign was launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ahead of an international conference in Bristol, western England, next week.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

Harbour porpoises are smaller than their dolphin cousins and as marine mammals need to breathe air.

Helen McLachlan, the RSPCA's marine wildlife consultant, said: "The government has known about the unacceptable level of deaths and suffering and yet it has failed to introduce practical measures to reduce the death toll.

"Although the government has commissioned research into the problem it has failed to introduce the changes in fishing practices which are sorely needed," she added.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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RELATED SITES:
RSPCA Online


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