Photo: Adam Li, NOAA/NMFS/SWFSC
Short-finned pilot whales are circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters. Long-finned pilot whales occur in temperate and polar waters.
Longlines, gillnets, purse seines, trawls
Bycatch of pilot whales (short-finned) occurs in the pelagic longline fisheries targeting swordfish, tuna, and shark in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. There are also records of pilot whales (long and short-finned) being taken in gillnet, trawl, and purse seine fisheries.
"Whale-safe" hooks are being tested in the longline fishery that aim to reduce pilot whale bycatch by allowing whales to straighten the hook, while being strong enough to retain target catch.