National Report on Large Whale Entanglements Confirmed in the United States in 2018
This summary report represents a conservative estimate of the number of large whale entanglements confirmed in U.S. waters.
In 2018, 105 confirmed entangled large whales were documented along the coasts of the United States, with 92 cases involving live animals and 13 cases involving animals that were dead when initially reported. All 105 whales were independently confirmed as entangled by members of the U.S. Large Whale Entanglement Response Network, either through photographic or video documentation or through field responses. The number of confirmed cases for 2018 (n=105) does not include multiple reports of any individual entangled whale. NOAA Fisheries tracks subsequent reports of previously reported entangled whales to better understand the nature of the entanglement, associated injuries, and the animal’s health status. The subsequent reports have been combined into a single record for the purposes of this summary to provide clarity on the number of entangled individuals. Thirteen additional cases were reported, but those entanglements could not be confirmed with the information received and the whales were not relocated by network members; thus, those reports were tracked but are not included in the overall total. This summary report therefore represents a conservative estimate of the number of large whale entanglements confirmed in U.S. waters.