MARINE ANIMAL ENTANGLEMENTS

Brought to light by the increased death rates of North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW), marine animal entanglements are the cause of death to 140,000 protected species annually. For the NARW, migration patterns have moved further North and are now increasingly present in the Atlantic Canadian and American fishing zones during lobster and crab fishing seasons. 83 percent of the remaining NARW population have been shown to have visible scars from fishing gear entanglements, with over half the population experiencing multiple entanglements and ultimately perishing from these interactions. Public outcry has resulted in legislative action that threatens the nearly $3 billion export market for Atlantic Canadian crab and lobster. Current fixed-gear fishing methodologies involve buoys on the ocean surface tethered to traps (or trawls of traps) on the ocean floor, with their tether ropes close to the surface causing the majority of entanglements. 

In the first half of 2018, 69 grids (14,000 square km) were closed to fixed gear fishers as a result of right whale sightings. With each whale sighting resulting in a closure lasting a minimum of 15 days, the economic loss facing lobster and crab fishers exceeded $12 million in a two month period in 2018. From an individual fisher perspective, each closure on average would result in $5,000 to $60,000 in income losses per day ($75,000 to $900,000 per closure). This problem is pervasive in all fixed-gear trap fisheries around the world and has become a key priority for many fishers and regulatory bodies.

 

 

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NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE

As the leading cause of death, 83% of the remaining population of NARWs bear visible scars from entanglements

 

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IMPACT AREAS

Ashored is currently focused on addressing these issues on both Canadian and American coasts, in South America, and in Western/Northern Europe