Hundreds of dolphin corpses have been found washed up on France's Atlantic coast, as a result of the industrial trawlers used by the fishing industry.
The dolphins, who were accidentally caught in fishing nets, were reported to have faced an 'agonizing death' after suffering from 'snapped tails, broken flippers, and deep wounds'.
According to Eco Watch: "Dolphins that typically live alongside sea bass are caught in fishing nets that capture everything in their path indiscriminately."
Marine wildlife conservation organization, Sea Shepherd, claims trawlers fishing for sea bass kill up to 10,000 dolphins every year, despite the animals being protected by international conservation law.
A spokesperson for Sea Shepherd said: "Dolphins are a sensitive species which are slow to reproduce their few offspring. By the time the decline in their population is visible, it's usually too late... If we still want to see dolphins in France tomorrow, it's urgent to take immediate measures to protect them.
"However, the French state is turning a deaf ear to all the scientists' warnings, and the fishermen involved are taking advantage of the general public's ignorance."
Whilst catching dolphins in fishing nets is considered accidental - many dolphins die during the process from drowning, or by the wounds caused by the nets.
President of the Loire Fisheries Committee, José Jouneau, claims that all trawlers are equipped with acoustic repellents called 'pingers'.
PBN has contacted the French Agriculture Ministry for comment.