Entanglement in fishing gear is a global problem that poses a threat to marine animals and fishers wherever the two overlap.
Here in Scotland a diverse array of marine animals including whales, dolphins and porpoise (collectively known as cetaceans) inhabit our inshore waters, which are also valuable fishing grounds for trawl and creel fishermen. The Scottish inshore fishing industry makes a significant contribution to the national economy and forms the backbone of many small coastal communities. Unfortunately however with thousands of miles of associated rope in the water at any given time, whales and other marine animals (e.g. basking sharks and turtles) can become entangled in this, and these interactions can have conservation, welfare and economic consequences.
Entanglements can impair an animal’s ability to breath, feed, swim and reproduce. These incidents can also be distressing and potentially dangerous for those discovering them, and the financial cost to fishermen through damaged or lost gear can be significant.
Launched on 1st June 2018, the Scottish Entanglement Alliance (SEA) is a partnership between six organisations dedicated to promoting and protecting Scotland’s wildlife, heritage and sustainable marine industries. SEA will work closely with the Scottish inshore fishing industry to provide a co-ordinated, comprehensive monitoring and engagement programme to better understand the scale and impact of marine animal entanglements in our waters, and work towards developing strategies to reduce this threat.
This website will be updated regularly as the project progresses.