North Atlantic Right whale entanglement case studies

Case Studies in North Atlantic Right Whale Fishing Gear Entanglements

Entanglement in commercial fishing ropes threatens the recovery of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), a species largely restricted to waters off of eastern North America. In recent years, serious entanglements have been increasing, and mortality from conflicts with fishing operations exceeds US legal mandates, with 83% of the population showing incidence of scarring as a consequence of these encounters.

Stiff Rope

The Consortium is testing whether ropes that have greater stiffness or fish under greater tension may be effective for reducing entanglements.  The stiffness or tension would reduce the ability of the rope to bend, allowing animals to slide off any rope encountered.  The Consortium is measuring rope tension under different environmental conditions and studying the fisheries that use tense rope to determine how effective it may be to reduce bycatch.    

Red Rope

Scientists believe that vertical fishing lines pose a serious entanglement threat to whales. In 2012, New England Aquarium scientists tested whether whales could see and avoid different color vertical lines.

2013 Katerva Ecosystem Conservation Award Winner

The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction has won the 2013 Katerva Ecosystem Conservation Award!

 

 


The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction has won the 2013 Katerva Ecosystem Conservation Award!

The Katerva award is hailed as “the Nobel Prize of Sustainability.” The Katerva Award, now in its third year, draws upon a network of experts from science, business, academia, finance, and government to

identify innovative projects in ten different categories that have the “greatest potential for both impact and scale” and have the potential to be applied in other locations and situations.

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