Does Bycatch Threaten Dolphins and Porpoises?
A recent SeaDoc Society-funded project found that salmon gill net fisheries could pose a threat to populations of harbor and Dall’s porpoise but not Pacific white-sided dolphin in British Columbia. Regional salmon gillnet fisheries accidentally catch and kill dolphins and porpoises and it is critical to know when such bycatch threatens these cetacean populations so that protective actions can be taken.
Measuring the impact of bycatch is common on the Washington side of the ecosystem; however, this is the first study to estimate the population-level impact of bycatch in British Columbia. The SeaDoc Society is committed to improving the health of marine wildlife throughout the Salish Sea without regard to national borders. Projects like this study, conducted by Dr. Rob Williams, Anna Hall and Arliss Winship, are helping the US and Canada cooperatively manage and protect species like dolphins and porpoises, species that don’t recognize international borders.
This study would not have been possible without private donations from citizens like you. Thank you! For more information or to download a copy of this paper, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, see www.seadocsociety.org/node/182