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European fishing continues to threaten dolphins and porpoises

European fishing continues to threaten dolphins and porpoises

Fishing activities involving pelagic trawling and static net fisheries may be incidentally killing more common dolphins than their populations can sustain in European waters. Despite being shocking, this is not new news. From data collected in 2014, ICES (the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) reports that bycatch of cetaceans has been observed in…

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Scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay

Many thanks to all WDC supporters who responded to the Welsh Government consultation on opening up Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation to scallop dredging, and to those who signed our petition. We presented the petition of 27,000 signatories to the Minister for Natural Resources – Carl Sergeant – on the 15th February, just before…

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27,000 say NO to scallop dredging

Over 27,000 people have now signed a petition against plans by the Welsh government to open up Cardigan Bay to destructive scallop dredging. Large parts of the bay, home to bottlenose dolphins, are protected as ‘Special Areas of Conservation’ under European law, and WDC has been calling on the Welsh government to bring about better…

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Weaker ropes could save whales from entanglement

A new study in the US has concluded that switching fishing gear to use ropes that break at 1700 pounds or less, could reduce potentially life-threatening entanglements for whales by over 70%. At the same time the ropes would still be effective for many types of fishing activities. The study examined live and dead whales…

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Limits on damaging fishing methods could help the economy and whales

A report issued today, and backed by WDC, states that placing proportionate limits on some types of fishing could help boost long-term jobs in fragile Scottish rural communities, as well as protect the environment. The Scottish government is due to announce measures for managing fishing in several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) later this month. The…

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Warmer waters threaten whales in Pacific Ocean

Whales migrating through the waters off California in the US maybe at risk from the unusual warming in the Pacific Ocean, which is causing them to change their feeding habits. In 2015, more than 60 whales that have become entangled in fishing gear have been spotted along the coastline, up 400 percent on normal levels.…

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Welsh government halts flawed scallop dredging consultation after complaint

The Welsh government has now halted a public consultation process regarding controversial plans concerning a protected marine area in Cardigan Bay, home to many bottlenose dolphins. Government officials have blamed “technical issues” and have said that the process would have to restart at a later date. The move follows a call by WDC and partner organisations,…

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Entangled humpback whale rescued in Scotland

A humpback whale has been freed from fishing gear thanks to the help of a local retired fisherman on the Isle of Skye. The whale was first sighted a couple of weeks ago but after attempts to free the creature were unsuccessful, it was feared it may have drowned. However, retired fisherman John Mckinnon sighted…

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US to reduce bycatch associated with imported fish products

Since 1972, the US Marine Mammal Protection Act has (on paper) strictly banned the import of fish and fish products caught in fishing gear that kills or seriously injures marine mammals “in excess of United States standards.” While the US federal agency, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has implemented this long-standing provision for yellowfin tuna…

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Claiming Success Too Soon Could Result in Serious Failure

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has claimed the endangered species act (ESA) a success for humpback whales worldwide; I too agree that the ESA has provided humpbacks the protection they needed after nearly being decimated by commercial whaling, but the story isn’t all that simple. A delisting at this time would be premature and humpback whales are now facing a whole new…

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