Bycatch In Commercial Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries is responsible for monitoring the amount of bycatch of all marine mammals that occurs in all federal and state managed commercial fisheries, as well as implementation of any measures determined necessary to minimize the impacts of bycatch to certain species.  Bycatch involves events where marine mammals become incidentally captured, entangled, or otherwise injured by nets, hooks, or lines used for fishing harvest operations.  NOAA relies heavily upon data gathered through fisheries observer programs to obtain accurate estimates of marine mammal bycatch in many commercial fisheries.  Commercial fishermen are also required to report to NMFS any marine mammal deaths or injuries that may occur during operations.  NOAA Fisheries also receives reports from various public and other governmental agencies of stranded marine mammals.  NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region staff lead and support the management and analysis of the impacts of marine mammal bycatch in a number of commercial fisheries on the U.S. west coast, ranging from incidental capture of pinnipeds and cetaceans in coastal and offshore gillnets, large whale entanglements in fixed gear, and pinniped bycatch in trawl nets.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call: 1-866-767-6114 
For law enforcement, harassments,  and other violations, please call:  1-800-853-1964

For entangled marine mammals, please call: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425
or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16
To report derelict gear, please call:  1-855-542-3935