Marine Mammals

The marine mammals most impacted by fisheries are the whales and dolphins (cetaceans) and seals and sea lions (pinnipeds).

In the past, many of these species were hunted for meat, blubber, skins, and oils which led to high rates of overexploitation.

In modern times the greatest threat to many marine mammal species is bycatch in fisheries. For whales and dolphins, entanglement in fishing gear is the greatest cause of annual mortality with over 300,000 killed each year in fishing nets, particularly gill nets. This occurs in both large commercial and artisanal, small-scale fisheries.

What happens to marine mammals if caught or entangled?

Removal of marine mammals has negative impacts on the ecosystem

Fishery Impacts