Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Whale Entanglements up. But why?

Yesterday I attended the monthly Humboldt Fisherman's Marketing Association (HFMA) board meeting that had a few items that concerned the  Humboldt Bay Harbor. The discussion was lively and very interesting. There were 30 whale entanglement episodes off west coast waters in 2014 and so far in 2015 there has been 20. There has been around 200 since 2000. The upswing in entanglements is quite the quandary since there is less crab pots on a whole in the years since 2000.

What was really fascinating to me was the amount of encounters that the local fishermen have with these animals. They talked about whales using the lines to try to shake barnacles off their bodies and one fisherman talked of having pots destroyed by whales using them also to try to shake the barnacles. The fishermen also observed that the whales are not doing their regular migration patterns but are hanging around areas prolonged. There has also been a anomaly of "strange animals" in the water where they are not normally. Such as the big squid run close to Humboldt this last year.

HFMA is going to create a working group to study this issue more closely.

Other items discussed at the meeting was new zoning descriptions for the Woodley Island Marina and the new Fish Market that will be going in business soon. There was also the subject of gear storage possibilities at Berth 1 and possible future oyster themed restaurant. An RV park or Motel on the Marina was also briefly discussed.


Julie Timmons said...

Disturbing about the whales. Thanks for posting.

Fred Mangels said...

"...also observed that the whales are not doing there regular migration patterns..."

not doing THEIR regular...