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Infographic: West Coast Humpback Whale Entanglements

April 24, 2020

Humpback whale entanglements 2013 to 2019.

Since 2013, there has been a large increase in the overall number of whale entanglements reported along the U.S. west coast. While approximately 50% of entanglement reports cannot be attributed to a specific source, Dungeness crab fishing gear is the most common source that has been identified during this period.

The causes for the increase in reported entanglements are complex, and the time series of developments as presented in this infographic does not attempt to explain or account for all the important factors that are related. Instead, this time series illustrates some of the important factors in recent years, along with the response of interested stakeholders during this time. These are highlighted by the unprecedented actions by fishery managers to address and reduce entanglement risks in state-managed fixed gear fisheries in 2018 and 2019, and commitments by the states of California, Oregon, and Washington to develop Conservation Plans for their Dungeness crab fisheries..

Last updated by West Coast Regional Office on 04/27/2020