These shocking images show the moment an ’emaciated’ dead dolphin washed up on a UK beach with its nose trapped shut by plastic.
Sandra Hilton, who took the harrowing images, reported the discovery of the dead mammal to Jersey State’s Fisheries and Marine Resources Department on Monday afternoon.
Officers at the marine wildlife authority have since been unable to locate the dolphin’s carcass.
Using the image as evidence, the department says the dolphin, located behind the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club, was tagged.
Fisheries department spokesman Paul Chambers said: ‘It is a female common dolphin and obviously has some injuries to its snout area.
‘It looks as if something became wrapped around its beak and there are a series of very deep injuries.
‘It could have been a piece of rubbish that got wrapped around its beak or it could have got caught in fishing gear and struggled to get out.
‘It did look emaciated and could have starved to death but I will have to wait for the dolphin to be recovered – I cannot guarantee the cause of death.’
Mr Chambers pointed out that officers had gone to the beach on Monday morning to pick up the animal but were unable to locate it.
Mr Chambers continued: ‘The dolphin may have drifted back out to sea but, with the tides at the moment, it will probably come back in again.
‘If we manage to get it back in, we will look at the layers of fat – it looked quite thin and it did not have any bulk at the top of the shoulders – and we will also have a look at its sides.
‘We work with the Zoological Society of London and we will see what their opinion is.’
Mr Chambers confirmed the species was not one commonly associated with the Island’s shores.
In August 2018, research by The Sea Watch Foundation showed a record number of cetacean sightings in British waters.
Over 500 sightings of thirteen cetacean species, including minke whales, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, were reported last year.
According to the Natural History Museum, there have been over 12,000 logged reports of whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings on the UK coastline since 1913.