National Fisherman


ROCKPORT, Maine - Preventing endangered northern right whales from becoming entangled in lobster gear could be as simple as changing the color of rope, a whale researcher says.
 
If the whales can see the fishing gear more clearly, then they are better able to avoid it, said Scott Kraus, a leading researcher on northern right whales.
 
"We know they can see the ropes. We thought by making them more visible they might be like traffic cones" by steering whales away from danger, Kraus said at the Maine Fishermen's Forum, an annual fishing industry event that draws together fishermen, regulators, researchers and other industry officials.
 
North Atlantic right whales, whose large eyes are adapted to the low light of the ocean, may be more sensitive to certain colors, the New England Aquarium scientist said.
 
Kraus and other researchers set out three years ago to determine whether the whales respond to some colors more than others. Intercepting feeding whales in Cape Cod Bay, off the shore of Massachusetts, they placed in the water lengths of colored PVC pipe, representing pieces of rope that attach traps to buoys.
 
When the whales approached, the scientists measured the distance from the whales' eyes at the moment when they reacted to the suspended "rope."
 
Not all colors evoked the same reaction.
 
Read the full story at the Cape Cod Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

Read more...

Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

Read more...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email