ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) – Oregon wildlife officials have proposed new regulations to avoid entangling whales in commercial fishing gear used by the state’s Dungeness crab industry.
The Daily Astorian reports state fishery officials presented recommendations to avoid unwanted whale interactions to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission during a June meeting.
Officials say there were 12 cases of entangled whales as of July 16, half associated with commercial fishing and a third with commercial crabbing.
Fisheries say recommendations include new gear identification tags and equipment cleanup requirements before the season’s end, eliminating a two-week, postseason grace period.
Commercial fishermen say they can clean up earlier, but other changes could be contentious.
Officials say Oregon has also applied for a federal permit allowing fishermen to take a small number of whales each year while fishing.