Bycatch and Ghost Net

ghost net
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The threats for the species that are so frequently observed in our visits are wide. Come get to know a little bit more about this subject with us!

Two of the biggest problems for the cetaceans are related with fisheries, with them being the ghost nets and the by-catch. During the actual fishing activity, some of the animals take advantage of the fact that some of their prey items were already caught in the nets, being easier to them to catch them. Although sometimes these animals end up caught in those same nets, this is called the by-catch. After they are captured, they are released, but their survival is still unknown.

On the other hand, during the fishing activity, some nets are lost, ending in the end of the sea without any utility, called the ghost nests. This also end up capturing animals or even entangling in them around their bodies causing wounds and also compromising their survival.

One example in Azores, is the common dolphin, this species is responsible for the majority of the observed interactions with the pole-and-line fisheries of the tuna, showing the highest percentage of by-catch that this activity shows.

The Azores are one passage point for a lot of migratory species, but they’re also the habitat for many resident species. As so, they are considered one marine biodiversity hotspot. As a consequence, it is very important that local authorities with the help of specialist’s groups act in this situation. For it to be possible to exist a reduction in this problem, it is from extreme importance to do a continued monitoring and to adopt awareness strategies for the common public and political. It would also be important to increase the control of the lines and fishing gear that is discarded intentionally to the sea.

Article written by the biologist Fátima Pérez Neira from Picos de Aventura team.

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