The Fishermen's Forum provides an opportunity for fishermen and others in the seafood industry to meet with fisheries managers and state and federal representatives in a neutral setting. There are over 30 free seminars on subjects ranging from fishing gear to fishing regulations.
Thursday Workshop (1-4:30)
How do whales get entangled in fishing gear? Using reverse engineering to understand whale entanglements
Maine Lobstermen's Association and Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction
Little is known about how whales become entangled in fishing gear. Despite major efforts by the fishing industry, dozens of whales are observed entangled in fishing gear each year and numerous others have scars from encounters with gear. There are many clues available to help us better understand whale entanglement. The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction held a reverse engineering workshop in 2011 that brought together a varied group of participants to review information from a series of entanglement cases in order to piece together the puzzle of how individual whale become entangled. Participants used the data and their own observations to formulate ideas about how whales might have encountered the gear and the reactions that led them to become entangled.
This workshop will provide participants an opportunity to conduct their own reverse engineering exercise. Using several of those case studies, workshop participants will review gear retrieved from entangled whales, discuss the cases and make their own assessment of how each whale may have become entangled based on the type of gear involved. A summary of the 2011 reverse engineering workshop participants' findings will also be presented.
If you are not able to attend this seminar, be sure to visit the Bycatch Consortium booth during the forum. Fishing gear retrieved from whales and case study summaries will be available at the booth. Fishermen are encouraged to visit the Consortium's booth to offer ideas about how these whales are getting entangled and whale might be done to prevent future cases.
Photo credit: K. McClellan