Study

Behavioral responses of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to experimental fishing gear in a coastal environment

  • Published source details Kot B.W., Sears R., Anis A., Nowacek D.P., Gedamke J. & Marshall C.D. (2012) Behavioral responses of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) to experimental fishing gear in a coastal environment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 413, 13-20.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Increase visual detectability of fishing gear for mammals

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Increase visual detectability of fishing gear for mammals

    A study in 2010 of a pelagic area in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada (Kot et al. 2012) reported that white ropes were approached more slowly by minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata than ropes of other colours, and whales changed their bearing more when approaching black ropes. Results are not based on assessments of statistical significance. Minke whales had greater reductions in swimming speed when approaching white ropes (average -1 m/s) than black, yellow, orange, green or blue ropes (combined average -0.5 m/s). Minke whales changed their bearing more when approaching black ropes (average 91°) than white, yellow, orange, green or blue ropes (combined average 55°). In June–August 2010, experimental trials were carried out with white, black, yellow, orange, green and blue polypropylene ropes (1.5 cm diameter) suspended in water 8–14 m deep. During each trial, 5–10 ropes of the same colour were spaced 15 m apart perpendicular to the shore. Ropes were attached to a buoy and moored to the sea floor. Observers in a boat anchored 100 m away recorded the speed and bearing of 7–12 individual whales passing the ropes of each colour.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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