Bycatch

California passes legislation to end use of harmful driftnets in fishery

A bill to phase out the use of drift gillnets (driftnets) off the California coast passed the California state legislature and was signed into law on September 27!  The new law implements a buyback program for driftnet permits and helps the fishery transition to more sustainable methods, including deep-set buoy gear, a system specifically designed to catch swordfish while reducing unintentional deaths of other marine species. 

WDC joins new project helping to prevent whale and dolphin entanglement in fishing gear

WDC has joined up with other organisations to help with a new research project looking into the problem of marine mammal entanglement in fishing gear in Scottish waters, which has just been launched.

The first of its kind in Europe, the Scottish Entanglement Alliance (SEA) brings together fishing industry representatives, researchers and conservation and welfare charities to assess the scale and impact of the issue.

Ukrainian ship's crew held after 46 porpoises die in nets

Illegally nets from a Ukrainian fishing boat have killed nearly 50 porpoises off the Crimean coast.

The porpoises died after becoming entangled in almost six miles of nets and investigators believe that were deliberately targeted for illegal export.

The crew of the trawler named YaMK-0041 was detained and the captain faces up to five years in jail if convicted of poaching.

WDC helping to shape the future for UK dolphins and porpoises

Last week, WDC took part in a two day workshop to help shape a “UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy”. We hope the strategy, once finalised will help to protect these species from bycatch, disturbance, pollution, noise and other pressures, individually as well as collectively.

Endangered porpoise could be even closer to extinction than first thought

Unconfirmed reports on the plight of the vaquita suggest that no more than 12 now remain.

Vaquitas are the world’s smallest and one of the most endangered species of whale, dolphin or porpoise on the planet. Found only in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California, the population has declined by more than 75% in the past three years alone. In Spanish, vaquita means 'little cow' and many local people believe them to be 'mythical creatures' as most have never seen one and photographs, until recently, were lacking.

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