Investigation started into fishermen who shot dead dolphins in Turkey’s Zonguldak
ZONGULDAKThe Forestry and Water Affairs Directorate has started an investigation into fishermen amid allegations they killed dolphins with a gun following a tipoff from a biology professor in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Mustafa Sözen, a biology professor who takes nature photographs in Zonguldak’s Çaycuma district, witnessed at least six dolphins that had been shot dead on the shore of the town of Filyos.
The professor managed to photograph the dolphins’ alleged killers with guns in their hands.
Sözen, who is a lecturer at Zonguldak’s Bülent Ecevit University, delivered the photographs of the suspects to the directorate, which subsequently launched an investigation.
Officials from the directorate said they would launch criminal action against the suspects after completing a preliminary process.
Sözen said fisherman did not like dolphins because they feed on smaller fish.
“Dolphins come closer to the shore in this season to feed. They also eat fish which get caught in the nets of the fishermen. So fishermen do not like dolphins. When I was in Filyos, I heard gunshots from the shore.
After that, we witnessed some fishermen who were carrying guns in their boats. At the same time, we noticed some dolphins that had been killed with guns,” he said.
It is illegal to hunt dolphins as they are under protection, Sözen said.
“The fisherman probably chose to kill the dolphin because they damaged their nets. Killing dolphins is forbidden. They just come closer to the shore for a few weeks every year. We should share the sea with them, and we should live together in peace,” he added.