Changes in fishing gear could save thousands of cetaceans a year
Low-cost changes to commercial fishing gear could prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of whales, porpoises, and dolphins every year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. About 1,000 cetaceans drown every day after becoming entangled in fishing nets, primarily gillnets, which are hard for the animals to see or sense with their sonar. WWF says 10 porpoise and dolphin species will probably go extinct if nothing is changed. Dolphins — revered the world over for their intelligence, complex behaviors, and irresistible cuteness — are disappearing from waters off the coasts of the Philippines, Indonesia, Ghana, Argentina, and other nations around the globe. The U.S. has led in making cetacean-saving modifications to its fishing fleet, like acoustic alarms on nets in the Gulf of Maine, cutting dolphin deaths by a third from 1993 to 2003. But the rest of the world has been slow to follow suit. Is this any way to thank Flipper for all the help he gave Sandy and Bud?