Two dolphin corpses washed up onto the shores of western France on February 19 with anti-gay slurs carved into their skin. Large pieces of flesh were removed while the slurs were carved into them.
Images were posted to social media by the marine conservationist organization Sea Shepherd France, and whoever committed the gruesome act appeared to have an issue with that same group. The words “Sea Shepherd” and “PD” were carved on the dead dolphins. “PD” is a variant spelling of “pédé,” a French slur for gay and bi men.
The dolphins’ bodies were displayed in the old port of La Rochelle, and Sea Shepherd tweeted, “Over three hours of exposition yesterday at La Rochelle with the dolphin scarred by fishers. Hundreds of people were made more aware.”
“End overfishing. Let’s eat less fish. Let’s save the ocean. And future generations.”
The group said it’s offering a 10,000 euro ($10,600 U.S.) reward for “any statements that enable law enforcement to identify and convict the people who mutilated and cut the dolphin found on February 18, 2023.”
“What a shame for the whole profession on which they discredit,” a representative of the organization told the Telegraph.
“It’s carnage. We will not give up until there are concrete measures to save these dolphins.”
The organization estimates that fishers accidentally catch 6000 dolphins on France’s west coast, and they advocate for tighter regulation of the fishing industry. Sea Shepherd France wants the government to close fishing in the Bay of Biscay for four months to investigate how many dolphins are caught in fishing nets.
The group filed a complaint in January after six other mutilated dolphins were found on beaches.
“The sea never stops throwing up the corpses of dolphins, captured by fishing gear,” said Sea Shepherd France president Layma Essemlali. “When the latter are mutilated, it is because they have either been eaten or the victims of an attempt to sink them to hide the evidence of capture.”