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Mar 20 2015

Whales Maimed and Killed by Ghost Gear

By Founder and President Kurt Lieber

Gray whale with no fluke cut off by abandoned fishing gearIt's been a difficult week for us whale lovers.  First, a gray whale was spotted off Dana Point with NO TAIL FLUKE…which was most likely cut off by the line from a crab or lobster trap line.

Another whale spotted off Dana Point earlier in the week had a lot of line and gear wrapped around its dorsal fin, running through its mouth and going all the way down to the tail fluke.  A response team was organized and they cut a lot of gear loose, but the animal was reported dead today.

A little piece of me dies every time I hear about a whale that has succumbed to a long drawn out death due to ghost gear.  We only hear about the animals that come into contact with humans, but NOAA estimates that 843 whales and dolphins die every day from entanglement in ghost gear.  306,000 every year.

Howard Lyman of NOAA shared this photo with us. You can see how the lines could easily injure or sever the fluke. [Note: this is not either of the whales talked about in this article.]Howard Lyman of NOAA shared this photo with us. You can see how the lines could easily injure or sever the fluke. [Note: this is not either of the whales talked about in this article.] This is a healthy California gray whale tail seen not far from where the maimed whale was spotted.This is a healthy California gray whale tail seen not far from where the maimed whale was spotted.

We have got to do something to change this…AND WE ARE!  Our volunteers will be out and in the water, doing what we can to remove as much of this gear as possible and make the coastal waters safer for all animals - from the majestic to the minute.

We would love to have you "by our side" as we do this work. Please be an ocean-clean-up angel to a whale today! Click here to make a donation now!

 
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