More than 70 percent of the right whale population bears scars from past fishing gear entanglements. The Aquarium is working to design new fishing ropes and is using GIS technology to help preventright whale interactions with ships.

Designing Experimental Fishing Gear

Fishermen use ropes to set gillnets in the water column and anchor their lobster pots and traps to floating buoys. This gear presents a hazard to whales and large fishes that may become tangled in the ropes if they swim too close. We are working to reduce this threat by developing new ropes for the fishing industry.

Using GIS to Avoid Right Whale Interactions with Fishing Operations

We use GIS technology to plot when and where commercial fishing activities could impact right whales. By comparing this information with known right whale distribution patterns, we can predict when and where commercial fishing efforts may negatively impact right whales.