Entangled Marine Mammals

“entanglements have long-term negative physical and reproductive effects (on whales)”

Entanglements have surpassed ship strikes as a leading danger to right whales in recent years. Forty-four percent of diagnosed right whale deaths were due to ship strikes and 35 percent were due to entanglements from 1970 to 2009, the study said. From 2010 to 2015, 15 percent of diagnosed deaths were due to ship strikes and 85 percent were due to entanglements, it said.

Whale Protection & Crab Gear Retrieval Act

Crab fishermen have taken the lead on this issue and many are already taking part in a limited basis pilot project that was initiated two years ago. Approximately 1,500 lost crab pots have been collected in that program. SB 1287 will build upon the successful pilot project by advancing a statewide solution to the growing problem.

West Coast Whale Entanglement Incidents Up

Of the 30 cases last year, seven whales were disentangled and released free of lines, seven were found dead, two were observed to self-release and the remaining entangled whales had an unknown fate. Most recent entanglements have occurred with Dungeness crab gear, although lobster and spot prawn gear as well as gillnets have also been identified.