Whale Entanglements Rise in Monterey Bay

The seafood industry often appears to be a healthy, sustainable food choice. The truth is, it’s just as complex and damaging as the chicken, beef, and pork industries. While each industry has its own depressing stats and stories, there is a recent story that’s coming out of Monterey Bay that shows how the fishing industry is more than just catching fish, crustaceans, mussels and more.

According to biologists in the area, there has been an increase of whale entanglements in Monterey Bay, California. One rescue team volunteer said it’s the most he’s seen in nearly 20 years of living in the area.

“On Tuesday, crews rescued an entangled humpback off the coast of the Carmel Highlands, and on Thursday, a call for another entangled whale 10 miles west of Moss Landing came in. The second whale was not found,” according to a recent news story from KSBW 8.

One theory for higher whale entanglement numbers is the recent increase in the area humpback whale population, which feeds close to the shoreline. Another theory is the increased fishing industry, which puts out nets that catch not just the seafood for consumption, but any other sea animal that crosses their paths.

The sea animals that are caught, injured or killed in the nets are known in the industry as “by-catch,” and there are a lot of them. If you just count whales and dolphins alone, there are hundreds of thousands (biologists estimate up to 650,000) killed every year in these fishing nets.

And it turns out, “dolphin-safe tuna” isn’t really a thing. The label is very misleading. Instead of being completely safe for dolphins, the designation simply means that a company complies with laws that help to minimize dolphin deaths. There are still dolphins killed by the dolphin-safe tuna companies, they are just kept below a required number set in place by United States lawmakers.

While many people think factory farming is worse than the seafood industry, there is still incredible damage done by fishing boats and nets. Admittedly, things are better now than they were 40 or 50 years ago. During that time – before the dolphin-safe label and regulations were put in place – millions of sea mammals were killed by fishing nets worldwide every year.

To help cut down on the amount of by-catch produced by fishing boats every year, we recommend a seafood-free diet or at least cutting back on the amount of seafood you consume. As they say, every little bit counts.

Photo Credit: ChristopherMichel

96 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Victoria C.
Victoria C3 years ago

I agree with Mark Donner! BLOW UP THE DAMN BOATS!!!!!!!!

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

The best solution is to blow any fishing boats sighted out of the water. That's what the Navy is for, to intercept the enemy.

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Jenny S.
Jenny W3 years ago

Let's end this... NOW!!!!!!!!

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Kerrie G.
Kerrie G3 years ago

Shared, thanks.

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Trish K.
Trish K3 years ago

This is not fishing. This is raping the ocean with Drift Nets and Trawlers. We need to push for Laws and Moratoriums to stop these corporations and foreign countries from destroying the future of fish and the death of the oceans.

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Ruth S.
Ruth S3 years ago

Thanks.

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Mona Pietsch
Mona Pietsch3 years ago

sadly noted

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn3 years ago

OMG !

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Ana Luisa Luque M.

Can I get in the next stop? I don't think I can't take another blow to my mind and heart. We humans need to take a step back to see we are making very bad damage in the planet.

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