A DEAD dolphin was found washed ashore under a pier.

The animal was spotted this morning by the Palace Pier in Brighton.

This follows more stormy weather in Sussex with high winds and heavy rain continuing to batter the county.

It is one of several dolphins to be found along the South East coast in recent months.

The death of one animal - which was found last month with notches on either side of its beak and impressions along its body consistent with marks from a fishing net - is being put down to fishing trawlers.

The Zoological Society of London said the injuries were consistent with bycatch.

Rob Deaville of dolphin death watchdog Cetacean Strandings Investigations Programme said: "The dolphin was in good nutritional condition and had evidence of recent feeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

"The findings were therefore considered to be consistent with bycatch or incidental capture in fishing gear."

Further offshore, the Marine Management Organisation is responsible for policing fishing vessels.

A spokesman said fishing vessels longer than 12 metres are required by law to fit “pingers” to some nets to drive away marine life with sounds.

"The Marine Management Organisation and Defra continue to work with the fishing industry to reduce the bycatch of dolphins," he said.

Picture by Simon Holroyd.