ASSESSMENT OF SPATIAL OVERLAP OF FIXED FISHING GEAR AND RIGHT WHALES, EUBALAENA GLACIALIS, IN THE GULF OF MAINE

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2007-05

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Read, Andrew J

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Abstract

Right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, entanglement in fixed fishing gear remains one of the most crucial threats to the survival of the species today. Aerial surveys conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from 2002- 2005 from the Gulf of Maine to the New York Bight recorded sighting events of right whales as well as fixed fishing gear buoys. These data were used to assess the presence or absence of spatial overlap between right whale sightings and fixed gear sightings to provide locations where whales most likely are encountering gear within the survey area. Preliminary results show persistent between-year overlap in spring, and within-year overlap in the summer, fall, and winter. This is the first study to utilize NMFS sightings of both right whales and fixed fishing gear. The resulting interaction zones can inform managers and possibly identify important areas for entanglement mitigation such as time area closures.

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Hurley, Brendan J. (2007). ASSESSMENT OF SPATIAL OVERLAP OF FIXED FISHING GEAR AND RIGHT WHALES, EUBALAENA GLACIALIS, IN THE GULF OF MAINE. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/347.


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