Another humpback whale has died, alarming locals, experts, and government officials on the dangers of fishing gears recklessly disposed in seas and oceans.
Last Monday, the humpback whale was found dead on Scotland’s north coast. Experts believe the poor animal may have been entangled in the fishing gear thousands of miles away from Thurso, Caithness, where it was found.
The carcass, which was likely a juvenile male, may have died from drowning because of the creel rope attached to a buoy and was tightly wrapped around its body. A fisherman from Nova Scotia, Canada, appears to be the owner of the gear.
According to a report by BBC News, scientists from the Inverness-based Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) contacted the fisherman, who was “devastated” about the death of the whale.
“He’s pretty devastated his gear ended up doing this,” SMASS wrote in a Facebook post.
After completing the necropsy report on the whale, SMASS also found that the buoy pinned the whale’s left pectoral fin, which caused several severe lacerations. The group believed the whale had dragged the gear 4,023 kilometers from the fishery to Scotland’s north coast. The creel rope and buoy may also be a “ghost gear,” theorized SMASS, which means it could be a fishing equipment that could drift through the ocean before the whale got entangled in it.
“Understanding how to reduce and mitigate the risk to marine wildlife needs engagement from the fishing community – they are the solution to this issue, not the problem,” SMASS added in their post.
World Wildlife Fund said “lack of political will to address the problem” may be the leading cause why many marine animals die from several fishing gears.
According to SMASS, this is the fifth entanglement reported in just five weeks.
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