Ropeless Fishing Gear to Protect Whales

A clever new idea might just help protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.


North Atlantic right whale and calf
North Atlantic right whale and calf | Wikipedia

Michael Moore is the director of the Marine Mammal Center at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, MA. For years, he has focused his work on the endangered North Atlantic right whale as there are only 336 remaining in the world. That is why he has been experimenting with ropeless fishing gear off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.


With the new technology, fishers can release the traps into the water and find them again through an acoustic signal. The traps have inflatable bladders that fishers can trigger when it's time to bring them to the surface.


Moore hopes the widespread adoption of ropeless gear will curb the number of deaths caused by rope entanglements and will allow rare species to recover.


"I do believe that 10 years from now, when you start talking about fishing with ropes, people will just look at you like you're weird," John Moloney, an engineering manager at Jasco, commented.

 

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