Navy hopes it did not blow up por­poises

The National - News - - WORLD NEWS -

Ger­man of­fi­cials are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the deaths of 18 por­poises in the Baltic Sea are con­nected to a navy dem­i­ning oper­a­tion ear­lier this year. A spokesman for the De­fence Min­istry said that “so far, no di­rect link has been es­tab­lished” be­tween the det­o­na­tion of 42 Sec­ond World War-era mines and the deaths of the en­dan­gered marine mam­mals. An of­fi­cial told re­porters that should a link be found “we ob­vi­ously re­gret it”. The mines were blown up in Au­gust dur­ing a Nato ex­er­cise, af­ter civil­ian au­thor­i­ties gave a warn­ing they were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly un­safe. En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry spokesman Stephan Gabriel Haufe said the det­o­na­tion took place in a marine re­serve and that por­poises in the Baltic en­joy “par­tic­u­larly strict pro­tec­tion”.

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