One of the world's most endangered whale species is being put at further risk by plans to drill for oil in its habitat. Save North Atlantic right whales from the devastating impacts of a deadly oil spill.
Ghost Gear: Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals Are The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear (via NPR) (28 September 2016) Endangered whales and other animals are being trapped and drowned in discarded fishing gear. A new California law aims to help.
“Every year that drift gillnets are used off the California coast to catch swordfish, the result is that iconic whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and thousands of fish are ensnared and killed as bycatch,”
Scientists say entanglement poses a serious obstacle to the recovery of endangered whales on the U.S. east coast, especially North Atlantic right whales, which may number as few as 444. Rope and nets often do the snarling and can involve other types of gear including hooks, buoys, traps, even anchors and other marine debris. Over time, the gear exacts a painful toll. It can slice flesh, deform bone, amputate flukes, and restrict breathing, eating, and swimming as it drags through the water.