The Beacon

Blog Tags: Pilot Whales

As California Drift Gillnet Fishery Continues to Kill Marine Mammals, Oceana Pressures for “Count, Cap, and Control” Approach

California drift gillnet fishery kills pilot whales

A short-finned pilot whale killed by a California drift gillnet. This fishery killed an estimated six short-finned pilot whales in the 2013 to 2014 fishing season. (Photo: NOAA)

In September, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released new data showing the bycatch reported by federal observers of the California-based drift gillnet fishery that predominantly targets swordfish and thresher sharks. Alarmingly, the data indicates this fishery killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014.


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Mass Stranding - Pilot Whales and Dolphins

I once, as a kid, watched a pod of pilot whales from the deck of a whale-watching boat off the coast of Maine. They are playful, graceful creatures - despite the bulbous protrusion to which they owe the undignified nickname "pothead," as well as their latin title Globicephala maleana (I'm guessing that means something like "globe head," but my Latin is rusty). They travel in groups, or pods, within which they develop smaller family units that are stable over time.


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