WARNING - DISTURBING CONTENT: Photos have emerged showing a dead dolphin with what appears to be a threatening message knifed into its body.
Marine mammal advocacy group Sea Shepherd France say the dolphin was discovered lying on rocks at Marais Girard Beach, 460km southeast of Paris, with the words “Sea Shepherd f***” carved into its flesh.
Photos published to their Facebook account also show that the animals is missing its tail.
Lamya Essemlali from Sea Shepherd France told Yahoo News Australia that the dolphin was found on Wednesday morning.
“The dolphin with the insult towards us carved on its body has been found on the beach yesterday morning,” she said.
“We've brought it to the scientists so that they can practice a necropsy.”
Tension between Sea Shepherd and fishermen
The find comes amid an ongoing investigation by the charity called Operation Dolphin Bycatch, in which Sea Shepherd alleges thousands of dolphins are killed on France’s west coast by industry trawlers and fishing vessels.
Sea Shepherd claim on their website that the number of dolphins killed eclipse the "massacres” conducted in Taiji, Japan and the Danish Faroe Islands.
“These vessels target sea bass spawning grounds during the breeding season,” their website states.
“Dolphins that typically live alongside sea bass are caught in fishing nets that capture everything in their path indiscriminately.
“Most of the dolphins die in the nets, and those pulled up alive usually die from wounds inflicted by fishermen onboard the vessels.”
Ms Essemlali alleges that more than 11,300 dolphins were killed on the French Atlantic Coast in 2019.
“There is an increasing pressure coming from the fishermen who really dislike that we film what is in their nets when they lift them,” she said.
“What we want is the law to change and cameras to be placed on board all the fishing vessels suspected to be killing dolphins - mainly gill nets, trawlers and seiners.
“This is not ecologically sustainable nor ethically acceptable.”
Responding to the find, Sea Shepherd France issued a “message to the fishermen concerned” on Facebook.
“You do not deserve to be at sea, you are the shame of your job and your attitude only strengthens our determination,” it reads.
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