900 dolphins ran aground in winter on the shores of the French Atlantic

More than 400 dolphins ran aground in a week. Archival

At least 910 dolphins have run aground on French Atlantic beaches since mid-December, according to a new tally by the Pelagis Oceanographic Observatory, which recorded a new "severe" wave of more than 400 strandings a week ago.

"About 420 baby cetaceans ran aground on the Atlantic coast between March 10 and 17, including 120 on March 11 and 12 alone," Pelagis said yesterday. The Observatory described the figure as "unprecedented".

The observatory, which since 1970 has counted cases of cetaceans stranded on the Atlantic coast, noted a "great diversity in carrion status", showing that some dolphins drifting to the coast died just a few days ago, while others died several weeks ago.

"Tests on a small number of carrion mostly showed traces of fishing gear," FAO reported.

Pelagis recalled that a "severe" first wave was recorded at the beginning of the year, when the number of delinquent cetaceans exceeded 360 from mid-December 2022 to the end of January 2023.