Italy fishermen down rods in dolphin dispute

2017-03-22 22:17


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Rome - 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.5.

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

"It is an unsustainable situation...every night 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," said biologist Monica Blasi.

Read more on:    italy  |  marine life

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