A second common dolphin has been found dead in Plymouth Sound in two days.
Yesterday police recovered the body of a dolphin in the Sound and found it wrapped in mono-filament netting, used in illegal fishing.
Today a second dolphin washed up in a similar condition in Stonehouse Pool.
Police are investigating illegal fishing operations in the Sound and the dolphins are being examined by experts at the National Marine Aquarium.
A member of the public contacted the MoD police at around 11am yesterday after seeing the first dolphin in the water off West Hoe pier, near the Wet Wok restaurant.
The crew of the launch Excalibur recovered the small mammal, initially thought to be a harbour porpoise, and took its remains to Devonport dock.
The mammal was believed to have died after being tangled in mono-filament netting.
The second dolphin was reported this afternoon, Saturday.
Police have launched an investigation to try to discover the owner of the netting.
Sgt Ryan Canning, wildlife crime officer for Plymouth police said this was sadly not the first example of Plymouth’s valuable marine wildlife being caught in nets which are suspected to be illegally set down by poachers.
He said: “These nets are a danger to all kinds of wildlife. By the size of the animal it wouldn’t have got caught very far from the shore. It has not been able to swim miles with this wrapped around it.
“It was set in an area which shouldn’t have nets.”
It is illegal to use such nets within a line across Plymouth Sound, which roughly runs between Mount Batten, Drakes Island and Mount Edgcumbe.
However, poachers have been found to use the next just yards from the shoreline and even deep into the city’s rivers and tributaries.
Sgt Canning said : “During the summer we saw a similar net off Jennycliff beach which held fish and seabirds. They are a danger not only to animals, but also divers, snorkellers, swimmers and even kayakers. More....