A 2019 mine clearance operation in the Baltic Sea killed several porpoises as alleged, Germany’s nature conservation agency has concluded. The animals, Germany’s only native whale species, are on the endangered list.
A number of porpoises died last year as a result of explosions that occurred while clearing British World War II mines in a protected marine area in the Baltic sea, Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) has confirmed.
At least eight of the animals died through damage to their auditory organs, which porpoises partly use to navigate, the agency said in a report. Altogether 41 porpoises were found dead on beaches in beaches in the region from the start of September to the end of November. Twenty-four of them were given autopsies.