Accidental capture in fishing nets pushes several species to the brink
Leading marine scientists for the first time have assessed dolphin and porpoise populations around the world which are severely threatened by entanglement in fishing gear and recommended nine urgent priorities for action in a report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund. These nine projects highlight species threatened by bycatch that will most likely benefit from immediate action and will continue to languish without intervention.
The list of dolphins and porpoises that could recover if changes to fishing methods and other conservation efforts are made includes harbor porpoises in the Black Sea, where thousands of porpoises are killed each year; Atlantic humpback dolphins off the coast of west Africa; and franciscana dolphins in South America. Most of the species on the list are threatened by the widespread use of one type of fishing gear – gillnets. These nets are difficult for dolphins and porpoises to spot visually or detect with their sonar, so they may become tangled in the netting or in the ropes attached to the nets.
Sarah Janicke | EurekAlert!
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