Location: Simons IMAX Theatre

Aquarium Lecture Series

Right Whales, Right Gear: Finding New Ways to Fish that Avoid Entanglements

Tuesday, June 19

Panel discussion with John Haviland, South Shore Lobster Fishermen’s Association; Laurens Howle, Duke University; Amy Knowlton, Senior Scientist, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium; and Kristan Porter, President, Maine Lobstermen’s Association

Moderated by Tim Werner, Senior Scientist, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium and Director, Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction

Fishing is an important economic mainstay of New England and part of its cultural heritage. North Atlantic right whales are a critical natural component of the region’s coastal waters. Where the two meet, entanglements happen, mainly as whales become wrapped in buoy ropes used to locate and haul pots resting on the seafloor. Two unlikely bedfellows—fishermen and research scientists—are working collaboratively to save whales and pot fisheries alike, studying solutions that include novel designs for ropes that are strong enough for fishing but weak enough for right whales to release themselves. Come listen to members of an expert panel discuss their perspectives on right whale entanglements and ideas for solving them.