The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a statewide fleet advisory for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery due to a recent humpback whale entanglement about five miles west of Cypress Point near Monterey Bay. The entanglement, first reported in late January, involved heavy line from unknown fishing gear.
CDFW is encouraging the commercial fishing fleet and all mariners to be on the lookout for entangled whales in the area and across California waters. If an entangled whale is seen, CDFW advises to not approach or attempt to disentangle, but to report it immediately to the U.S. Coast Guard, or call the Entanglement Reporting Hotline at (877) SOS-WHAL or (877) 767-9425.
Based on recent surveys and historic migration patterns, overall entanglement risk remains low across California waters, according to CDFW. The Fish & Wildlife department, however, decided to issue a fleet advisory for all California fishing zones, and is reminding all in the commercial and recreational fisheries to implement best practices, as described in its Best Practices Guide.
“These efforts are supported by a strong collaboration with the fishing community, partner agencies and scientific advisors,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “We appreciate this ongoing collaboration and are committed to protecting our natural heritage while providing fishing opportunities to the citizens of California.”