Lost and abandoned fishing gear which is deadly to marine life makes up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace. More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in… Read More ›
Colossal numbers of plastic bottles and bags float around the earth, and their severe impact on marine life has been extensively documented. But there’s another, lesser-known killer plastic lurking in our oceans. Every year, more than 136,000 whales, dolphins and… Read More ›
The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open north of Sonoma County on Monday after several delays needed to allow the crustaceans to mature before the harvest begins. The northern season, which usually starts Dec. 1, is opening two months after… Read More ›
By Adam Wagner GateHouse Media Posted Nov 24, 2017 at 10:33 AMUpdated Nov 24, 2017 at 10:33 AM One of the world’s most endangered animals used to be routinely seen off the NC coast. Not anymore. WILMINGTON — After years of steady improvement, one of the Atlantic ocean’s most at-risk… Read More ›
“The Trump administration has declared war on whales, dolphins and turtles off the coast of California,” Todd Steiner, director of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, told the LA Times.
“The situation is completely out of control,” says Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a cetacean expert at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Ensenada, Mexico, and member of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, an international advisory group to the Mexican government. “Of course, there’s a risk in capturing the vaquitas. But it’s clear now that they will be killed [in gillnets] anyway.”
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.
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.
Of the 40 balloons Russ reported, 31 were made of Mylar. This is discouraging, as despite their one-time use, Mylar balloons take a long time to degrade. These balloons were more likely than other balloon types to be found individually and still partially inflated. Rubber balloons, another prevalent balloon type, were more likely to be found deflated or shredded, and often tied together in groups. Many of the reported balloons also had a plastic string attached, creating yet another hazard for marine life.
“We now have the best, most comprehensive assessment of trash and plastic waste on some of our most iconic marine wildlife,” said Nicholas Mallos, Director of the Trash Free Seas Program at Ocean Conservancy.