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They're not dolphins, just porpoises in port
3:00pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
BOSSES at the Port of Tilbury have quashed rumours that dolphins have been trapped in the docks.
A number of people had expressed concern after seeing what they believed to be dolphins swimming in the docks over the past few months, with reports that some of the friendly sea mammals couldn’t escape the area.
However, bosses say it is extremely unlikely it is sightings of dolphins.
It is thought they could be a harbour porpoise, a relative of the dolphin, which is more common in the waters around Essex.
A spokesman for the Port of Tilbury said: “The docks are full of fish and wildlife can and do enter the port through the lock gates when they are open to allow vessels to enter or leave the port.
“It is not possible to prevent this and most find their way back out to the Thames by the same route.
“Any wildlife spotted in the docks is reported to the relevant marine authorities.”
It is extremely rare to see dolphins in the Thames Estuary although there have been numerous sightings the other side of the UK in Cardigan Bay, off the west coast of Wales.
Porpoises have shorter snouts and fins that bear a closer resemblance to sharks than dolphins and they normally live in pods of two to four.
The Sea Watch Foundation, a national marine environment charity, said in 2012 there were sightings of the harbour porpoise in Norfolk, Skegness, Lincolnshire and Scarborough.
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