Presentation Abstract

Derelict fishing gear (DFG), also known as ‘ghostfishing gear’, describes when fishing gear has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment and continues to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, or seabirds. Although it is impossible to get an accurate global number, a rough estimate is that less than 10% of marine debris by volume is DFG. In the context of the Puget Sound, more than 290,000 animals representing 241 unique species have been found dead in removed derelict gear including: porpoise, sea lions, scoters, grebes, cormorants, canary rockfish, Chinook salmon, and Dungeness crab. Crab pots are some of the most common gear lost due to their long soak times as it gives them more opportunity to be affected by currents and adverse weather. It has been estimated that about 12,000 crab pots are lost every year in Puget Sound, costing the commercial fishery up to $700,000 in lost harvest revenue. Furthermore, these crab pots have also been responsible for large cetacean entanglements. While retroactive measures such as removal schemes have been very successful in mitigating DFG, these are costly and need to be made more efficient. Thus, this study aims to help predict the location of DFG through data analytics. Specifically, publicly available databases regarding DFG, ocean currents, and cetacean stranding were overlaid and analyzed. Results show several correlations and trends that could lead to more proactive DFG measures.

Session Title

Plastic Pollution and Marine Debris in the Salish Sea: Monitoring, Education, and Management and Policy Solutions

Keywords

Derelict fishing gear, Whale entanglements, NWSF, NOAA

Conference Track

SSE13: Plastics

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE13-571

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 2:30 PM Apr 5th, 2:45 PM

Data and derelict fishing gear: implications for monitoring, predicting, and management

Derelict fishing gear (DFG), also known as ‘ghostfishing gear’, describes when fishing gear has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment and continues to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, or seabirds. Although it is impossible to get an accurate global number, a rough estimate is that less than 10% of marine debris by volume is DFG. In the context of the Puget Sound, more than 290,000 animals representing 241 unique species have been found dead in removed derelict gear including: porpoise, sea lions, scoters, grebes, cormorants, canary rockfish, Chinook salmon, and Dungeness crab. Crab pots are some of the most common gear lost due to their long soak times as it gives them more opportunity to be affected by currents and adverse weather. It has been estimated that about 12,000 crab pots are lost every year in Puget Sound, costing the commercial fishery up to $700,000 in lost harvest revenue. Furthermore, these crab pots have also been responsible for large cetacean entanglements. While retroactive measures such as removal schemes have been very successful in mitigating DFG, these are costly and need to be made more efficient. Thus, this study aims to help predict the location of DFG through data analytics. Specifically, publicly available databases regarding DFG, ocean currents, and cetacean stranding were overlaid and analyzed. Results show several correlations and trends that could lead to more proactive DFG measures.