Ghost gear is one of the biggest threats to marine animals, killing more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles and countless more smaller animals,” said Chiara Vitali, manager of the Sea Change campaign at World Animal Protection. “Yet the issue is still largely under-researched and receives little attention.”
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.
… as climate change alters the chemistry of the world’s oceans, scientists and fishermen are just beginning to understand how this economically, culturally, and ecologically important species will be impacted.
Marine mammal entanglement, or “by-catch,” is a global problem that results in the death of hundred of thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals every year. For large whales, the impact is typically not immediate as the animals can pull gear off the ocean floor and swim off with it.
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.
Washington—The Pew Charitable Trusts launched groundbreaking technology today that will help authorities monitor, detect, and respond to illicit fishing activity across the world’s oceans. The development of Project Eyes on the Seas, as the system is known, furthers a long-term… Read More ›
The debris found in the 37-foot (gray whale) male included more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, a pair of sweatpants, duct tape, and a golf ball.