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Italy fishermen down rods in dolphin dispute
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) March 22, 2017

Italian fishermen on Wednesday announced plans for two days of strikes in protest over crafty dolphins they accuse of pinching their catch and threatening to put them out of business.

The fishermen, based on the islands of Lipari and Salina, north of Sicily, say dwindling stocks of squid are making it harder for the dolphins to bring in their own catches -- so the famously clever mammals have started targeting their boats.

They skulk around close to ports and track the boats until they have a catch in their net, then use their razor-sharp teeth to cut through nets and enjoy a free feast.

Local fishermen say that the value of their landed catch has fallen by 70 percent.

"It is an unsustainable situation, every night there is a battle for survival at sea," said Giuseppe Spinella, vice-president of the body that represents 119 boats registered in the Aeolian islands.

"To be clear, we have nothing against the dolphins but it is an us or them situation and we have to find a solution," he said.

Conservationists say the fishermen's complaint that dolphins are becoming more numerous are not accurate.

"The problem is diminishing fish stocks pushing them towards the boats," biologist Monica Blasi told La Repubblica.

One of last vaquita porpoises found dead in Mexico
Mexico City (AFP) March 17, 2017
Environmentalists said Thursday they have found the body of a baby vaquita marina porpoise, one of the last of its kind, washed up dead in northern Mexico. The newborn was found with its umbilical cord still attached on a beach in the Gulf of California by US environmental group Sea Shepherd, which said it is working with Mexican authorities to determine what killed the animal. Scientist ... read more

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