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Worrying Trend On Merseyside Beach – Was Dolphin Like Fish Killed On Porpoise?

Dolphin like fish washed up on Crosby beach raises questions as members of the public post many more examples from North West coastline.

A Liverpool mum contacted Enchanted LifePath TV with pictures of what appeared to be a dead baby dolphin washed up on one of Merseyside’s beaches on Thursday afternoon.

The local alternative news outlet then visited the location and conducted a live stream via Facebook in a bid to raise the issue and to see if foul play was the cause of its death.

Members of the public watched the video and swiftly identified it as a Porpoise, which is dolphin like with a few key characteristics being a way to differentiate between the two species.

A spokesperson for BDLMR confirmed the public’s identification adding that the ill-fated appearance was probably down more natural circumstances than any wrong doing stating an investigation into what seems to be a worrying pattern would just be centring on something which is not as rare as first thought.

This was backed up by the amount of sightings which have been documented by visitors to our beaches with Formby, Crosby and New Brighton all having Porpoises wash up in recent weeks.

In a call to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Enchanted LifePath was told: “BDMLR confirm this is a porpoise – it has flat, spade-shaped teeth whereas dolphins have sharp conical-shaped teeth.

“Head damage is probably caused by scavengers like gulls, that will tend to go for the soft tissue first and work out from there”

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) is an internationally recognised voluntary marine animal rescue organisation based in the UK

Further discoveries emerge

The live stream brought a wave of attention with 10.000 views and people commenting from the local area as well as posting pictures along with videos of other dead Porpoises which have washed up on our shores.

One worried viewer, Louise King, uploaded a video and said: “I found one (a porpoise) on Crosby Beach also, something doesn’t seem right”

Lilya Volkova added: “It’s a porpoise, saw this one on Formby Beach last month.

“I assume it’s down to the palm oil spill

“There’s also been dead lambs across the beach too, really strange and sad.

“I Spoke to the coastguard and was told the sheep were attacked by dogs”.

Local YouTuber Paula Lockyer said: “Check out the video on my channel.

“I was so disturbed by what I found and no one could help me I asked a lifeguard on Ainsdale beach and he said Freshfield wasn’t his patch”.

She went on to mention a potential link to what is happening on Merseyside beaches “This is where your find probably came from”.

Paula attached a link to a recent article from local newspaper, Liverpool Echo, reporting how stunned fishermen spotted “hundreds” of dolphins of Liverpool bay near New Brighton in June.

Liverpool Echo reports, Steve Bee, 60, went out fishing with some friends at a wreck near New Brighton, but as the group were coming back in from their trip a pod of dolphins came alongside the boat.

Porpoise
Hundreds Of Dolphins In Liverpool Bay – Liverpool Echo

Although the graphic sighting came as a surprise to many people in Liverpool, the amount of stories in regional newspapers and online press suggests it is not a rare event with reports as far back as 2011 through to present day pointing towards this being a regular occurrence which is down to the cycle of life rather than a disturbing pattern but is it correct to hold such a belief? Maybe not.

The dead porpoise sightings all have common characteristics and mutilation is a regular theme with many of the horrific discoveries and it may logical to suggest the deaths are down to entanglement in discarded fishing nets.

A report in the Daily Post, Wales in December 2017, raised concerns with fish being caught up in nets.

Natural Resources Wales Marine Mammal Specialist Ceri Wyn Morris said it would be wrong to speculate on the causes of death but entanglement in fishing gear – known as bycatch – is one of the most common causes of death for stranded harbour porpoises.

She added: “Porpoise are susceptible to being caught in fixed fishing gear like gillnets, where they get tangled and drown.

“There is a campaign to end bycatch and the government is committed to taking measures to address the issue.

“But without examining these stranded porpoise we can’t speculate on the cause of death. That’s why it is vital that strandings are reported to allow us to investigate them properly and collect vital information which ultimately helps in the conservation of these species.”

In November 2017, a public notice was made by UK Coastguard’s after a 26 year old shipwreck leaked suspected Palm oil into local waters triggering calls to raise awareness of the incident and highlight concerns to the safety of beach goer’s pets.

“If it turns out to be harmless, great, but if it’s palm oil dogs could end up very ill, and death is a possibility,” said Fleetwood Coastguard station officer Mark Sumner, speaking to the Blackpool Gazette.

Formby Bubble – November 2017

Liverpool Echo reported in April, Palm oil is used mainly in food, soaps, shampoos and biofuels but, when washed up on shorelines, appears as boulder-sized chunks which emit a smell of diesel – which is attractive to dogs and bird life.

Have you seen any stranded wildlife on our beaches if so get in touch.

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