SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal authorities are reporting a record number of whales getting tangled in crabbing gear off the U.S. West Coast.

The Center for Biological Diversity environmental group announced the development Wednesday, citing new figures from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The conservation group says 71 cases of whales caught in fishing lines were reported off California, Oregon and Washington last year. Fishing gear was identifiable in 29 cases and of those, 22 animals were caught in commercial Dungeness crab gear.

Numbers of such entanglements have been climbing yearly. Whales caught in the ropes of crabbing pots can starve or die from infected wounds.

A spokeswoman for California’s Fish and Wildlife Department did not immediately return a request for comment. California recently passed legislation meant to encourage crabbers to remove unused crabbing gear from the ocean.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  1. The situation has gone too far for “encouraging” crabbers to do the right thing when such large numbers of whales are being killed. Ban crabbers and their gear altogether. Blame the bad actors, and the failure or refusal of the others to clean up after them.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE