Minke whale dies after getting tangled in fishing gear

The female minke's body washed up in a remote part of the Ardnamurchan peninsula

Minke whale: Washed up dead after becoming entangled. <strong>HWDT</strong>
Minke whale: Washed up dead after becoming entangled. HWDT

A whale has died after getting tangled in fishing gear off Scotland’s west coast.

The female minke’s body washed up in a remote part of the Ardnamurchan peninsula last week.

Her tail is believed to have become tangled in a creel rope off the Isle of Mull.

The minke, who was healthy at the time of her death, was one of a number of whales seen around the island in recent weeks.

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Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust science officer Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills said: “In this case the timely reporting of the dead whale, even at sea, enabled us to track its movements, access it when it stranded and determine the cause of death.

“It is crucial that we are aware of these cases, as it helps to help us to understand the different threats that whales face in the Hebrides.

“The public play such a vital role in monitoring our seas.”

Wildlife organisations are working with fishing and diving groups to cut down on the number of whales killed by fishing gear in Scotland.

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A spokesman for the Scottish Creel Fisherman’s Federation, said: “Sadly we sometimes encounter animals entangled in fishing gear.

“As an organisation we take this seriously and want to do our best to minimise the risk of this happening and to have advice for what to do in response if and when such incidents do occur.

“We wish to promote working towards methods and practices that best ensure the safety of these animals that we are lucky to work alongside, whilst looking for solutions to potential issues that might arise when we strive to make a living in the same waters that these animals live.”

A report published earlier this year warned fishing poses a threat to the return of humpback whales to Scotland.

The colossal mammals were hunted to the brink of extinction north of the border but have been seen in increasing numbers in recent years.


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