More porpoises die in North Sea than normal

More porpoises die in North Sea than normal
Photo: DPA

The number of harbour porpoises washing up dead on Germany’s North Sea beaches has been unusually high this year, sparking concern among environmentalists who are trying to figure out what has been killing them.


Around 35,000 of the sea mammals tend to pass through Germany’s coastline each year and “this summer there have been striking amounts of dead harbour porpoises found,” North Frisian national parks spokesman Thomas Borchardt told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper on Friday.

On the island of Trischen alone, the bodies of eleven harbour porpoises have been washed up over the past few weeks, added Moritz Mercker from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU).

Other islands like Helgoland and Sylt, as well as along the Eiderstedt peninsular have seen unusually high amounts of the dead animals along their coastlines.

Neither Mercker nor Borchardt could explain why the numbers had risen this summer, but Borchardt did tell the paper that he suspects the animals could have died elsewhere and floated towards Germany.

The cause of death remains unclear for the majority of deceased harbour porpoises found over the summer.

NABU is clear on one point though, that hundreds of the animals are killed by fishing in the North Sea each year.

The Local/jcw



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