Sadly we sometimes encounter animals entangled in fishing gear. Whales,
basking shark and even turtles have been found entangled and sadly can die if
not rescued in time. As an organisation we take this seriously and want to do
our best to minimise the risk of this happening and to have advice for what to
do in response if and when such incidents do occur.
After meeting with and
discussing the situation with organisations throughout Scotland and
internationally, we wish to promote and ask for support in working towards
methods and practices that best ensure the safety of these animals that we are
lucky to work alongside, whilst looking for solutions to potential issues that
might arise when we strive to make a living in the same waters that these
Best practice and response
After consultation and discussion with those involved in all aspects of this
issue we have developed a partnership that we hope will provide potential
benefit for all, rather than conflict.
On the 28th April 2017 at the Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference at Eden
Court Inverness, we were pleased to launch a new keyring booklet and wallet card
outlining the result of this process along with members of the other groups we
are working with and to Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy
The booklets outline ideas we believe will help minimise entanglement risks,
ID cards for animals likely to be encountered and what to do and who to contact.
In the event of an entanglement occurring, we are keen to emphasise that care
should be taken in trying to disentangle an animal. These animals are very
strong and likely to be in a stressed condition and can pose a serious risk to
those trying to help. Also, by letting an animal free if it has not been
properly cleared of all ropes and gear, it may well continue to suffer and
If an animal is alive, we suggest contacting British Diver Marine Life
Rescue (BDMLR). This organisation has specially trained volunteers located
around the UK and also a specialist team and kit for disentangling whales -
currently the only kit in Europe of this nature. They can be contacted on
01825 765546 or 07787 433412 outside office hours. Also, contacting
HM Coast Guard on VHF ch. 16 is advisable as they work alongside BDMLR in many
If an animal is dead, please report to Scottish Marine Animals Stranding
Scheme (SMASS) who will carry out a necropsy where feasible and this
information is vital for providing ongoing data to allow us to best understand
the situation and how to minimise the issue. They can be contacted on 01463
243030 or 07979 245893 out of office hours and also via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting can be done anonymously if desired and all groups involved in this
scheme are keen to emphasise that they wish to work alongside us and are keen
for ideas and suggestions on how to all ensure we are working towards minimising
the risk and maximising the chances of saving animals if and when such incidents
Copies of the booklet are being distributed to our members and it is also
available as an electronic download here for those who would like to look at it
in the meantime.
The following organisations all contributed to this
project and can be contacted for further information and advice on this subject.