Whale Entanglement Discussion Set for August 20

crab pot gearA California Whale Entanglement Discussion meeting hosted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Ocean Protection Council, and NOAA Fisheries will be held Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Elihu M. Harris State Building in Oakland. The goal of the meeting is to begin an open dialogue with industry members of the commercial California Dungeness crab fishery and exchange information on the incidence of whale entanglements off the California coast, including possible short- and long-term strategies to reduce the risk of entanglements.

The meeting will include a morning informational session with presentations by CDFW and NOAA Fisheries that cover the following topics:

• Overview of the commercial California Dungeness crab fishery
• Overview of whale management and entanglement history in California
• Whale science and National Marine Fisheries Service outreach efforts
• Understanding recent entanglement activity
• West Coast marine mammal disentanglement response network

Two additional groups will give presentations during the morning session. The Whale Entanglement Team from the non-profit group Marine Life Studies will discuss their activities in recent years responding to large numbers of entangled whale reports in California. The California Lost Gear Retrieval Program will provide an overview describing their program, including the role of the Dungeness crab industry in reducing lost gear in California waters.

In the afternoon, meeting participants and hosts will have the opportunity to discuss the topics and themes raised during the morning presentations, and to explore potential options to reduce entanglement risk.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. For more information about the meeting, please visit CDFW’s Public Meetings and Notices web page or contact CDFW Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz at Christy.Juhasz@wildlife.ca.gov or the California Ocean Protection Council’s Fisheries Policy Advisor, Jacqueline Meyer, at Jacqueline.Meyer@resources.ca.gov.

post by Christy Juhasz, CDFW Environmental Scientist    Set crab pot illustration by G. Goblirsch, Oregon Sea Grant