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Study reveals how fishing gear can cause slow death of whales
Date:5/21/2013

s towed ashore for a necropsy. "We showed up on the beach that night. I remember walking out there and seeing this huge whale, or what I thought was huge. She was only 10 meters long. She was only two years old. And all these people who had been involved in her life at some point, were there to learn from her what entanglement had caused."

The necropsy showed that effects of the chronic entanglement were the cause of death.

"No fisherman wants to catch a whale, and I wish no fisherman a hungry day," said Moore. "There needs to be a targeted assessment of how the fishery can still be profitable while deploying less gear so we can reduce the risk of marine mammals encountering fishing gear in the first place. At WHOI, we have hosted workshops talking with fisheries managers and fishermen about what might change so that they can continue to catch fish and stop catching whales."

A dedicated network of scientists, veterinarians, and emergency responders support the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP), which was formally established under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, is coordinated by NOAA Fisheries Service and coordinates the Atlantic Large Whale Entanglement Response Program. WHOI scientists have been long-standing contributors to the MMHSRP and routinely participate in rescues for marine mammals that are stranded, injured or entangled. Response efforts by the network for endangered species, such as North Atlantic right whales, are authorized by NOAA/NMFS Permit No. 932-1905-MA-009526 issued to the MMHSRP.


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Contact: Media Relations Office
media@whoi.edu
508-289-3340
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Source:Eurekalert

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