Lethal entanglement in baleen whales
Cassoff, Rachel M.
Moore, Kathleen M. T.
McLellan, William A.
Barco, Susan G.
Rotstein, David S.
Moore, Michael J.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordBaleen whales; Entanglement; Mortality; Cetacean; Strandings; Fishing gear; Necropsy; Northwestern Atlantic
Understanding the scenarios whereby fishing gear entanglement of large whales induces mortality is important for the development of mitigation strategies. Here we present a series of 21 cases involving 4 species of baleen whales in the NW Atlantic, describing the available sighting history, necropsy observations, and subsequent data analyses that enabled the compilation of the manners in which entanglement can be lethal. The single acute cause of entanglement mortality identified was drowning from entanglement involving multiple body parts, with the animal’s inability to surface. More protracted causes of death included impaired foraging during entanglement, resulting in starvation after many months; systemic infection arising from open, unresolved entanglement wounds; and hemorrhage or debilitation due to severe gear-related damage to tissues. Serious gear-induced injury can include laceration of large vessels, occlusion of the nares, embedding of line in growing bone, and massive periosteal proliferation of new bone in an attempt to wall off constricting, encircling lines. These data show that baleen whale entanglement is not only a major issue for the conservation of some baleen whale populations, but is also a major concern for the welfare of each affected individual.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 96 (2011): 175-185, doi:10.3354/dao02385.
Suggested CitationArticle: Cassoff, Rachel M., Moore, Kathleen M. T., McLellan, William A., Barco, Susan G., Rotstein, David S., Moore, Michael J., "Lethal entanglement in baleen whales", Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 96 (2011): 175-185, DOI:10.3354/dao02385, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/4879
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Mehta, Amee V.; Allen, Judith M.; Constantine, Rochelle; Garrigue, Claire; Jann, Beatrice; Jenner, Curt; Marx, Marilyn K.; Matkin, Craig O.; Mattila, David K.; Minton, Gianna; Mizroch, Sally A.; Olavarría, Carlos; Robbins, Jooke; Russell, Kirsty G.; Seton, Rosemary E.; Steiger, Gretchen H.; Víkingsson, Gísli A.; Wade, Paul R.; Witteveen, Briana H.; Clapham, Phillip J. (Inter-Research, 2007-10-25)Certain populations of killer whales Orcinus orca feed primarily or exclusively on marine mammals. However, whether or not baleen whales represent an important prey source for killer whales is debatable. A hypothesis by ...
Development and assessment of a new dermal attachment for short-term tagging studies of baleen whales Baumgartner, Mark F.; Hammar, Terence R.; Robbins, Jooke (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-18)Current studies of fine-scale baleen whale diving and foraging behaviour rely on archival suction cup tags that remain attached over time scales of hours. However, skin irregularities can make suction cup attachment ...
Romagosa Verges, Miriam; Cascão, Irma; Merchant, Nathan D.; Lammers, Marc O.; Giacomello, Eva; Marques, Tiago A.; Silva, Monica (Frontiers Media, 2017-04-25)Assessment of underwater noise is of particular interest given the increase in noise-generating human activities and the potential negative effects on marine mammals which depend on sound for many vital processes. The ...