Entanglement
 


"The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) estimated that in 1989, between 315,000 and a million dolphins were killed in drift nets" (Suzuki, 2004). Entanglement in fishing nets poses a major threat to the world's whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The bycatch (non-target species) caught in Alaskan waters with longlines alone was 572 million pounds in 1994 (Suzuki, 2004).

Both drift nets and longlines can be very dangerous to various ocean creatures.

Some longlines can stretch up to 30 miles across and carry 10,000 hooks. These lines are extended close to the surface above the water, and can catch, large and small, fish and mammals, as well as seabirds that dive for the lines. Between 1997 and 2000, it was estimated that 330,000 seabirds were drowned by longlines (Suzuki, 2004).

Drift nets are another popular fishing tool. These vast nets along the ocean bottom and haul up anything that crosses their path. These nets destroy ecosystems and leave a swath of destruction in their wake. They also catch mush more than the target species, posing an entanglement problem.

What can we do to stop this destructive behaviour?

 
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