A young Mediterranean monk seal and three striped dolphins have been found dead with obvious signs of violence in the northeastern Aegean in recent days, according to a marine conservation group that reported more seal killings earlier this month.
In its latest report, the Archipelagos Institute said that the dead seal had a rope wrapped around its hind flippers, while the three dolphins had their dorsal fins cut off. Experts believe that the dolphins were alive when they were mutilated and left to drown.
According to the institute, there have been increasing reports of striped dolphins approaching fishing trawlers in the Aegean as overfishing depletes their natural food sources.
“We believe that these particular dolphins – and who knows how many more – became trapped in the nets as they were being raised close to the surface. Based on their injuries, it is clear that they were brought onto the deck alive and were alive when they were thrown back into the water with their dorsal fins severed so they could not swim, dying an agonizing death,” Archipelagos said in a statement on Thursday.
“We cannot know whether these killings were carried out by Greek or Turkish fishing boats, as trawlers from both countries are active in this area,” the institute said, adding that its experts are studying the sea currents in the area to determine where the incidents may have taken place.
Earlier this month, Archipelagos reported the killing of seven Mediterranean monk seals in different parts of the Aegean.