Consequences of fishing nets on Right whales
by krysisidore on April 23, 2018 - 1:21pm
This article is written by Deborah Cramer and has as a goal to explain to the readers the negative effects fishermen have on Right whales when they leave their fishing nets laying anywhere around in the oceans. The effects dealt on the Right whales are critical injuries that can lead to possible death, decline in the Right whale population, decrease in Right whale infants and negative psychological effects. Deborah uses a lot of statistics to explain her main point in her article. The reason this issue is so important is because, this specific type of whale species was potentially on the verge of extinction due to overfishing. They have been since repopulating, but at a considerably slow rate. Now with fishermen letting their fishing nets lie around in the ocean, many Right whales are getting caught in the nets. Places such as the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy, where Right whales migrate for the summer, they enter into many collusions with lobster and snow crab traps. This is even happening here in Canada in our very own Gulf of St. Lawrence infested with snow-crab traps. Once caught in these trap, Right whales often suffocate and drown. Yes, marine animals under the proper horrific conditions can actually drown. If they do manage to escape from the traps, the whales are mostly likely to sub come later on to their injuries form the traps. For some female Right whales, their birthrate can drop as low as 40 percent. The reason is because female Right whales have an energy storage needed for pregnancy and nursing. When they get entangled in a fisher’s net, they waste that energy of trying to escape the nets. Deborah explains that female Right whales should give birth every three to four years. Now it has increased to every eight years and sometimes never. Solutions proposed by Deborah to decrease the amount of Right whale death is to reduce the ship strikes further away from the feeding ground of these whales. Second, is to eliminate gantlet of fishing line. It is proven that that lobstermen in Maine catch the same amount of lobsters with half of the used traps. And finally, the federal government and research institutions should in ways to create “rope less” technologies which would reduce the amount of ropes need in crab and lobster traps.