(Mirror Daily, United States) More and more cases of marine species getting entangled in fishing gear have been reported recently. Raging from whales to sea turtles, the animals in the ocean are severely endangered by human activity and its effects. Overfishing is already a problem, but the abandoned fishing gear is a whole different story.
One of the most recent victims of fishing gear is a right whale, which died last weekend on the coasts of Maine. Its head and its flippers were entangled in a giant fishing net, which made it impossible for the large animal to swim properly. It also might have lost its orientation sense, and ended up on the beach. The situation is alarming, as there were reported only five hundred right whales in the North Atlantic.
Experts say that the most harmful elements of the fishing gear are traps, gillnets, and crab pots. Specialists explain that they end up killing or severely injuring other species, such as whales, sea lions, seals and sea turtles. If any of the distressed animals reach the shores, rescue teams always try to save them. However, there is always the possibility of the animals to die or to return to the ocean with no help from humans.
Wildlife specialists find it extremely difficult to monitor and track these animals at sea. Many of them are left on their own to release themselves from nets and traps. Researchers explain that whales, for instance, can’t always get rid of all the pieces of equipment, and they end up dragging them around, inhaling them or simply carrying them on their bodies. Either of these options is damaging for the health of the animals.
Researchers know that this is no easy process for the animals. Getting entangled in fishing gear and getting rid of it can be the starting point of a long and exhausting process, which can lead to the death of the animals.
Marine species can get entangled in both abandoned and active fishing gear. Authorities try to purify the waters by removing abandoned fishing gear. Such equipment stands as one of the primary causes which lead to the extinction of animals such as right whales. By eliminating the traps, officials hope that all marine species will feel much more relieved and free while swimming in the waters they own by nature.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia
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