Marine animal protection

Marine animal protection

Marine animal protection

Introduction

Entanglement of whales, sharks and turtles in fishing gear is recognised as a leading cause of death for these species globally. Such events can also have devastating effects on the fishers themselves, including financial losses, serious injury or even death, when trying to save entangled animals. Yet currently, there is very little data as to the scale of the problem, and a lack of support for fishers on how to report and respond to these incidents safely.

2021 Award

Ellie MacLennan (CF 2017) is a member of the UK’s only dedicated large whale disentanglement team, and has assisted in numerous necropsies of dead entangled whales where the injuries sustained have raised serious animal welfare concerns. Between March 2018 and October 2020 she co-ordinated a project called the Scottish Entanglement Alliance, during which she conducted interviews with fishers and discovered that entanglements are much more common than previously thought.

She has been awarded an Activate grant to create online and in-person educational resources to support and inform small-scale inshore fishers affected by this issue. She will use the funding to develop an online platform, where fishers can report entanglements and share learnings within their sector on how to mitigate and resolve entanglements safely. She will also travel to coastal communities around the UK to interview commercial fishers and deliver a programme of collaborative workshops on entanglement risks and solutions, which will include training in safe disentanglement techniques. From this, she hopes to gather more data on entanglement incidences which can be used to influence future policy, regulation and practice. She also hopes to establish a network of fishers, researchers and policymakers around the UK working together on this issue.

Ellie’s Fellowship to Canada and the USA investigated measures to prevent entanglement of large marine animals in fishing gear.

2021 Award

Ellie MacLennan (CF 2017) is a member of the UK’s only dedicated large whale disentanglement team, and has assisted in numerous necropsies of dead entangled whales where the injuries sustained have raised serious animal welfare concerns. Between March 2018 and October 2020 she co-ordinated a project called the Scottish Entanglement Alliance, during which she conducted interviews with fishers and discovered that entanglements are much more common than previously thought.

She has been awarded an Activate grant to create online and in-person educational resources to support and inform small-scale inshore fishers affected by this issue. She will use the funding to develop an online platform, where fishers can report entanglements and share learnings within their sector on how to mitigate and resolve entanglements safely. She will also travel to coastal communities around the UK to interview commercial fishers and deliver a programme of collaborative workshops on entanglement risks and solutions, which will include training in safe disentanglement techniques. From this, she hopes to gather more data on entanglement incidences which can be used to influence future policy, regulation and practice. She also hopes to establish a network of fishers, researchers and policymakers around the UK working together on this issue.

Ellie’s Fellowship to Canada and the USA investigated measures to prevent entanglement of large marine animals in fishing gear.