Reward offered as young dolphin killed after being 'harassed' by boats in Camel Estuary (From This is The West Country)
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Reward offered as young dolphin killed after being 'harassed' by boats in Camel Estuary
9:00am Monday 22nd July 2013 in Devon
A £2,000 reward has been offered after a juvenile dolphin was killed after a pod was 'harassed' by boats in Camel Estuary
British Divers Marine Life Rescue say that on Saturday (July 20) at approximately 3.30pm - 4pm near the Port Hand buoy, off Daymer Bay and Trebetherick Point, reports were received of as many as 25 small vessels harassing a pod on Bottlenose dolphins.
It is believed a pod of dolphins entered the estuary at about 1.30pm . They were followed by up to 20 pleasure boats until about 4.45pm when they left the estuary and headed up towards Port Quinn Bay.
Very soon after, a dead dolphin was reported to have been found at the scene. The death is believed to be as a result of the harassment.
A spokesman said that they are appealing for information, as it is believed that there were a number of private, commercial and sightseeing vessels in the area at that time.
Adding: "The Padstow sightseeing vessels are all trained in how to behave responsibly around wildlife and there is no insinuation that they are involved, however passengers may have been witness to the harassment by other vessels.
"Harassment of dolphins is a serious wildlife crime under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The law states that it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly harass any dolphin, porpoise, whale or basking shark. A conviction carries the maximum sentence of £5000 and/or six months imprisonment."
Anyone who witnessed this incident, or any others like it in other areas, should call 101 and ask to speak to a Devon and Cornwall Police Wildlife Crime Officer, quoting log reference 399 210713. I
Ideally, the Police need a description of the vessels (colour, registration, etc) involved and/or photos or video. Alternatively contact British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Sea Shepherd and Dive Master Insurance have offered a combined reward of £2000 for any information that leads to a conviction.
The carcass was unable to be recovered so if anyone finds it, report it immediately to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network on 0345 201 2626.
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