HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
News tip: Duke marine biologist calls for whale-proof fishing gear

Current efforts to disentangle an endangered right whale whose flipper is wrapped in fishing gear off the North Carolina coast, while essential, are "really only a Band-Aid," says a Duke University marine mammal expert who has participated in past whale rescues.

"It's something to do in the interim while we search for better solutions," says Andrew Read, the Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. "What we're doing is kind of like emergency room care for whales that become entangled. The real answer is developing fishing gear that doesn't entangle whales in the first place."

Read said such big marine mammals usually become entangled in fixed lines extending from fishing equipment like nets or lobster pots on the ocean bottom to floats or buoys on the surface. Ideas currently being tested to address the problem include weak links in the anchoring line that will give way if a whale is ensnarled, or lines that decompose when exposed to the sun, he says.

Read, who is based at Duke's Marine Laboratory in coastal Beaufort, N.C., was on an expedition several years ago that disentangled a humpback whale off Cape Lookout after attaching floats to slow the animal down.

"But humpback whales are easier to disentangle than right whales," he says. "Right whales are stronger and less amenable to work with. They can be very aggressive. They'll thrash their tails. People have had much less success disentangling them.

"And the stakes are much higher," he adds. "There are about 350 right whales in the entire North Atlantic Ocean, and only a very few right whales in the Pacific.

"So every loss is a significant one to the population. We think the population has been declining slowly for the last decade. A really good bumper crop of calves a couple of years ago helped. But the population is highly endangered and has a s
'"/>

Contact: Monte Basgall
monte.basgall@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University
26-Mar-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UAF scientists discover new marine habitat in Alaska
2. Students build submarine to track Octopuses
3. Gulf of Maine marine ecosystem may have entered new phase
4. Melting ice cap gives urgency to new census of marine life project in Arctic Ocean
5. Into the dead zone: Galveston researcher examines loss of marine life
6. Biological oceanographers examine regime shifts in complex marine ecosystems
7. Gulf marine reserves given new life
8. Fish no exception to trend in marine-organism disease
9. Freeing Nemo: Aquarium owners releasing non-native fish could endanger marine ecosystems
10. Report in BioScience details global decline of nonmarine mollusks
11. New Seascape initiative stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and protects key marine habitats

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of ... make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit ... includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution ... will result in greater convenience for SACU members ... maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased ... received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of ... Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 On Wednesday, ... at 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged ... closed at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on ... ), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals ... (NASDAQ: BIND ). Learn more about these stocks ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PUNE, India , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... culture media market research report to its pharmaceuticals ... company profiles, product details and much more. ... market spread across 151 pages, profiling 15 companies ... now available at http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: