Effects of fishing rope strength on the severity of large whale entanglements

Entanglement in fixed fishing gear affects whales worldwide. In the United States, deaths of North Atlantic right (Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceeded management limits for decades.  We examined fishing gear removed from live and dead entangled whales along the U.S. East Coast and the Canadian Maritimes from 1994-2010 to determine rope polymer type, breaking strength, and diameter and compare them to entangled whales by species, age, and injury severity.

>> The article is available open access at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12590/abstract