There has been an increase in the number of dolphin deaths in Cornwall over the last year, according to a new report released by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
In 2016, a total of 205 animals, including dolphins, porpoises and whales, were stranded, compared to only 10 in 2015.
There has also been an over 50% increase in their deaths.
The animals stranded off the Cornish coast last year include:
- 113 short-beaked common dolphins
- 61 were harbour porpoises.
- a female sperm whale stranded post- mortem on Perran Sands, north Cornwall
- a bottlenose dolphin stranded on the Isles of Scilly
- a minke whale also stranded at Compass Point near Bude.
Animals strand for a number of reasons, including natural causes such as disease.
31 of the 205 stranded were examined post-mortem by the Trust, which found that the cause of death for over a quarter of the animals was due to them being caught in fishing gear.
16% of the animals were attacked and killed by larger bottlenose dolphins.
Anyone who sees any stranded or dead marine animals is urged to contact the Cornwall Wildlife Trust on the 24-hour hotline: 0345 201226.