Navy hopes it did not blow up porpoises
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”.