SEAFA Promotes Whale Avoidance

Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance has announced a rebate program for whale pingers in Alaska salmon fisheries, funded through a grant from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in an effort to reduce whale entanglements in fishing nets.

The pingers emit a sound to alert baleen whales that there is something in front of them. That sound, said SEAFA’s Kathy Hansen, is not harmful to the whales, but just provides them a notice to watch out.
How big a problem is whale entanglement in salmon nets?

The number of entanglements varies, with this being a big issue some years, but not in others. “It’s huge, if you are the ones with the whale in your net,” Hansen said.

The $2,500 grant should cover $25 rebates for approximately 860 pingers, plus other costs associated with the grant, she said.

Commercial fishermen are eligible for rebates for up to five whale pingers per permit/vessel. Fishermen may submit the original receipt for pingers dated later than May 1, 2016 with the rebate form, which is online at

By signing the rebate form, harvesters agree for their contact information to be stored and if asked, to answer questions by scientists regarding their pinger use.

SEAFA, based in Juneau, Alaska, is a non-profit, membership based, multi-gear commercial fishing organization. Its stated mission is to preserve, promote, protect and perpetuate the fishing industry, for salmon, crab, shrimp and longline fisheries of Southeast Alaska, and promote legislation, conservation, management, safety at sea and the general welfare for the benefit of its members.