However I learnt that high concentrations of organochlorine compounds (particularly PCB) have been found in bottlenose dolphins in West Wales. One dolphin previously found had the highest level of PCBs recorded in this species in the UK in the last 20 years.
There are more than 200 kinds of PCBs - PCBs are basically toxic chemicals that used to be added to paints and cements, fire retardants, adhesives and hydraulic fluids. Because of their extreme toxicity, they were banned in many countries, but they still persist in the marine environment, particularly in coastal waters. They get into the fish the dolphins eat and are readily absorbed into fat, so the dolphins' blubber is an ideal reservoir. Click read more to see more but please note it includes a photo of the dead dolphin on Poppit Sands.
Scientists now think that chemical pollutants such as PCBs are one of the likely causes of the decline of the local bottlenose dolphins. In talking to other folk it seems that the whole species is threatened - let us hope this is not the case.