[MARMAM] New publication: Recent accidental entanglements of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Colombian Pacific

Isabel Cristina Avila isabelc.avila at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 06:46:00 PDT 2022

Dear colleagues

We are pleased to share with you our new publication where we present
recent cases of entanglements (2016-2021)  for humpback whales in Colombia,
South America:

*Avila, I.C.*, Ortega, L.F. Isaza-Toro, E & E. Ángulo. 2022. Recent
accidental entanglements of humpback whales in the Colombian Pacific. Aquatic
Mammals 48 (4): 341-348. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1578/AM.48.4.2022.341

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a migratory species that
inhabits annually the waters of the Colombian Pacific for breeding.
Accidental entanglement in fishing nets is a recurring threat to humpback
whales globally. This study presents 14 recent cases (2016-2021) of
accidental entanglements of humpback whales in the Colombian Pacific. Data
was taken opportunistically during visits and stays in the area, and
through information given from the local community and fishermen. We
registered 14 entangled individuals, four of them were calves and 10 were
adults. Most humpback entanglement cases involved surface gillnet
gear, specifically trammel nets. Although these entanglement cases were
sighted in Colombia, we cannot assure that these events occurred there, nor
can we confirm whether the events occurred while fishing or in ghost-nets
(ALDFG). Our results indicate that bycatch of humpback whales in Colombia
has increased, and could be higher. This study highlights the importance of
continuing monitoring whales and entanglements, and exalts the
participation of the local community and environmental authorities as a
primary source of information. In order to reduce this threat, it is
recommended to move towards a fishery management that considers the
migration times of whales and the use of technical methods to mitigate

For additional information please contact me at: isabelc.avila at gmail.com

Best regards,
Isabel C. Avila

Dr. Isabel Cristina Avila Jiménez
Marine Biologist PhD in Environmental Sciences
Research Associate of the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife
Research (ITAW), University of Hannover, Germany
Research member of the Animal Ecology group, Universidad del Valle, Colombia
E-mails: isabel_c_avila at yahoo.com /  isabelc.avila at gmail.com
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