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Soundings Archive

WWF Predicts Entanglement Extinctions
The World Wildlife Foundation "estimates that six cetacean species may disappear in the next decade because of fishing net entanglement." The WWF's dire prediction of the impact of bycatch on marine mammals are perhaps best summarized in these passages from the WWF website:
  • Some 300,000 small whales, dolphins, and porpoises die each year as a result of becoming entangled in fishing gear, and more than 250,000 loggerhead and leatherback marine turtles are caught annually by commercial longline fisheries.

  • WWF estimates that six cetacean species may disappear in the next decade because of fishing gear entanglement. There are probably fewer than 100 Maui's dolphins left in New Zealand because of high entanglement rates in set nets and pair trawling. Similar threats have dramatically reduced populations of the Vaquita dolphin in the Gulf of California, the Harbour porpoise in the Baltic Sea, and the Irrawaddy dolphin in Southeast Asia.
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