Fishermen, engineers, and scientists are working together to test and develop fishing gear that has no buoy lines in the water column to save the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. There are less than 400 North Atlantic Right Whales left in the world and many right whale deaths can be attributed to entanglement.
Currently, fixed-gear fisheries set traps, pots, barrels, or nets on the ocean bottom marked with lines attached to surface buoys or floats; it may be hours, days, or weeks before retrieval. Consequently, protected species may become entangled causing fishermen to lose gear and face increased regulatory restrictions as well as closures of rich fishing grounds.
Learn more at Ropless.org
Featured in video: Michael Moore, Whale Trauma Specialist, WHOI Rob Martin, Commercial Fisherman Kevin Rand, SMELTS
Partners: NOAA Whale and Dolphin Conservation International Fund for Animal Welfare EdgeTech SMELTS.org SeaWorld Conservation Fund Conservation Law Foundation
Animations created by Natalie Renier, WHOI
Aerial footage provided by Ralph L. Bundy Sara L. Ellis Michael Moore
Right whale footage captured under NOAA Permit #21371 and #20626
SEE ALSO: Rare 4K drone video shows critically endangered North Atlantic right whale surface active group
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