BOSTON — The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction is investigating whether changes in rope manufacturing over the past several decades have had an impact on the severity of entanglements. As part of this investigation, the organization would like to learn more about how fishermen choose rope and how changes in rope manufacturing have impacted the way they fish.
The research team at the New England Aquarium has been assessing right whale entanglement interactions for nearly 30 years. This work has shown that right whales frequently encounter rope with 82 percent of the population showing distinct scars from an interaction with rope. The results from this questionnaire will help determine if there are certain rope characteristics that lead to an entanglement becoming severe, or result in a whale breaking free on its own.
The survey data will be used to help identify practical methods to reduce entanglement risk to whales. Fishermen’s responses to the questions will be tabulated and compiled into a report to be shared with industry, state and federal governments, and the general public.
Interested individuals can fill out the online survey at surveymonkey.com.