More Bycatch

The Ocean Blog

This sea lion has been caught in killed in a giant drift net, or a “curtain of death,” as photographer Tom Woodward calls them. These giant drift nets, placed around the world’s oceans to catch...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story...
Guitarfish, rays, and other bycatch are tossed from a shrimp boat in La Paz, Mexico in 2006. Many species caught as bycatch are never monitored, and, insofar as they have important roles in the...
This is North Atlantic right whale #3333 who was spotted with fishing gear trailing from his mouth during an aerial survey off the coast of Georgia on January 29, 2008. Entanglement is one of the...
Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are...
The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was initially recognized in 1880, scientists didn't know where it nested until 80 years later, when a film documenting about...
An abandoned fishing net carrying 17 dead sea turtles was discovered off the coast of Bahia, Brazil days after a storm. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is being accidentally caught and...
CREDIT: © Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution 1. Respect Your Elders Sharks have a long and impressive lineage. Ancient sharks were cruising the ocean 400 million years ago—long before dinosaurs...
Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and...
A skate is among the many bycatch species caught in this shrimp trawl net. More about sustainable seafood can be found in our sustainable seafood featured story .
A Yellow spotted trevally struggles to free itself from a fisherman's discarded net. Discarded nets continue to fish long after they have been lost, devastating the local fish populations and choking...
Shark nets are trapping and killing dozens of sharks off the coast of South Africa. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark featured story .
It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification , pollution and overfishing, it often feels like the ocean and its...
A North Atlantic right whale with a deep wound caused by entanglement in fishing gear floats at the surface in the Bay of Fundy on August 1, 1999. Crew members on the International Fund for Animal...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and...
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
The impacts of derelict fishing gear on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands coral reef ecosystem are numerous. A primary effect of reef entanglement is structural damage to the coral substrate that...
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