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How To Prevent Whale Entanglement


See a Whale? Avoid a Whale!

Even small vessels and fishing gear can seriously injure a whale. Downrigger and fishing lines are hard for whales to detect and could cause contact or tangles!

Traps and Whales—Preventing Entanglement

Avoid setting gear when whales are near. Wait for a whale to pass or find another spot to set your gear.

Reduce excess line between fishing gear and floats.

Check current and tide tables before setting traps. Add weights to your traps to avoid having them drift away.

Use regulation floats, properly marked (name and phone number) in accordance with 2023-2024 regulations for crabbing and prawning.

Entanglement—What To Do

  1. Immediately report any injured, distressed, or dead whales to the DFO 24/7 Incident Hotline: 1-800-465-4336 or click here. You may also email [email protected]
  2. Do not cut trailing gear—it is vital for a rescue!
  3. Do not attempt to untangle the whale. You could injure yourself or the animal.

  4. Stay with the animal until an authorized responder or someone who can track the whale, arrives. Maintain the minimum approach distance (more than 400 m if at all possible).
  5. Take photos and/or videos of the entangling gear and the whale. Photos can provide useful information about the whale and the nature of the entanglement.

Incidents Involving Marine Mammals

Reporting of collisions, entanglements, or accidental contact between vessels or fishing gear and marine mammals is mandatory under Canada’s Marine Mammal Regulations.

Download the brochure (PDF)

Télécharger la plaquette (PDF)

This is a sponsored message from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


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