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.READ MORE: Man Approaches, Threatens Teenage Girls in Berkeley; Police Seek Surveillance Footage
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.READ MORE: San Mateo County Supervisors Approve New District Maps
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.MORE NEWS: COVID: Contra Costa Supes Tell Health Department To Crack Down On Establishments Defying Health Order
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