State of the Salish Sea, Salish Sea, Puget Sound, derelict fishing gear, marine habitat, ecosystem, fisheries
Derelict fishing gear—nets, pots, and other gear lost during fishing operations or vessel transit—has been implicated in several aspects of degradation in the Salish Sea. Derelict gear can degrade marine habitats by scouring or preventing habitat access through accumulation of gear or by fundamentally altering habitats by trapping fine sediments and changing the substrate. Derelict gear has also been implicated in the deaths of countless fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and invertebrates in the Salish Sea. The issue of derelict fishing gear affects all reaches of the Salish Sea, albeit on different scales, and the Northwest Straits Initiative has provided its experience and expertise to address the problem. Several non-governmental agencies and fishing industry groups are involved with derelict gear removal on both sides of the border, indicating that this issue has gained attention and prompted action. Efforts to remove derelict gear and prevent gear loss will be needed into the future.
State of the Salish Sea
Salish Sea Institute
Morgan, J. (2021). Derelict Fishing Gear. In K.L. Sobocinski, State of the Salish Sea. Salish Sea Institute, Western Washington University. http://doi.org/10.25710/vfhb-3a69
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